Launch Into Fun with Kentucky’s Lakes 

With miles of shoreline stretching along lakes spread across the Bluegrass State, Kentucky offers fun lake getaways perfect for your family. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway, a lake escape or just a day of fun on the lake, Kentucky’s lakes are waiting for your next adventure. 

Dad helps daughter pilot houseboat while mom and two boys ride along

Lake Cumberland

Lake Cumberland near Somerset in southern Kentucky is the nation’s number one houseboating destination, also known as the “Houseboat Capitol of the World.” Located about two hours south of Lexington, this scenic lake covers over 63,000 acres and has more than 1,200 miles of shoreline waiting for your next adventure! It’s an ideal spot for all types of water sports including fishing, tubing, leisure boating and jet skiing, plus camping, hiking and more. There’s several marinas to dock or rent a boat in the surrounding towns and counties, including Lake Cumberland State Resort Park in Russell County

Aerial view of Dale Hollow Lake

Dale Hollow Lake

In far south-central Kentucky, 27,700-acre Dale Hollow Lake offers pristine, peaceful views. The lake is one of the nation’s premier bass fisheries and holds the record for the largest smallmouth bass – be sure to pack those fishing poles so you can try your hand at fishing! The state park marina is open year-round with a fuel dock, store, boat rentals and boat slips. The Eagle Point Overlook Trail at Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park offers a breathtaking view of the lake from above. 

Hiking couple pauses at edge of Cave Run Lake

Cave Run Lake

Cave Run Lake is located amid the rolling hills of northeastern Kentucky within the Daniel Boone National Forest near the Kentucky Trail Town of Morehead. The 8,270-acre lake offers two beaches where visitors can swim: Twin Knobs Recreation Area and Zilpo Recreation Area. Both areas offer spectacular views of the lake. You can also waterski at Twin Knobs Recreation Area, and there’s several boat ramps located along the lake to enjoy before or after the beach. Several trails wind through the area, including through the surrounding forest. 

Sunny day at Grayson Lake

Grayson Lake

Grayson Lake is located in Carter and Elliott counties near the Kentucky Trail Town Olive Hill and is a favorite of paddlers. Sandstone canyons and gentle slopes surround the 1,512-acre lake, creating secretive caves, coves and small waterfalls. Grotto Falls is the most popular and one of the main reasons people visit Grayson Lake State Park, as you can only really access “The Grotto” by kayak on Far Clifty Creek. Three miles from the state park you’ll find a marina offering everything you might need for a day on the lake. 

View of Dewey Lake & marina

Dewey Lake

Jenny Wiley State Resort Park in Prestonsburg, the “Star City of Eastern Kentucky,” is home to Dewey Lake. The park’s May lodge overlooks the 1,100-acre lake and the lake is surrounded by peaceful pines and mountains. Rent a canoe, kayak, jon boat or pontoon to paddle or fish. There are 33 shoreline picnic areas available for public use with tables, grills and two shoreline camping areas with boat access only. Nestled in the Appalachian Mountains, this lake is a favorite for fisherman catching largemouth bass, crappie and catfish. 

View of Laurel River Lake

Laurel River Lake

Located near Corbin and London, Laurel River Lake features towering sandstone bluffs, crystal-clear water and old-growth hardwood forests shading several secluded coves. The 5,600-acre lake is a paddler’s dream with tranquil, remote spots for and beautiful scenery, but the lake also allows pontoon boats and motorboats if visitors want to water ski, tube, fish or more. There are seven launch ramps spread around the lake, and there’s a permanent beach maintained by the Corps of Engineers at the spillway of the Laurel River Dam. 

Two kayakers on Taylorsville Lake

Taylorsville Lake

A 3,050-acre lake in Spencer County, Taylorsville Lake is named for the nearby town, and is a peaceful place for paddlers. Wildlife abounds at the lake because of the large amount of standing timber surrounding the water. Blue herons are often seen feeding on the lake’s shad, but there’s plenty of other fish, too. The nearby Taylorsville Lake Marina is full-service, offering more than 300 covered and open slips for boats as well as pontoon, deck boat and fishing boat rentals with daily rates. There is no swimming from boat ramps or docks, but swimming is allowed at the dam. 

Tubing with boat at Green River Lake in Campbellsville

Green River Lake

Boating and water sports enthusiasts will love Green River Lake at Green River Lake State Park in Campbellsville. The 8,210-acre lake has an average depth of 50 feet and is about one mile wide at its widest point. The marina offers 200 covered slips, rental houseboats, fishing boats, ski boats, jet skis and pontoon boats, and is open March through November. There is a nice beach, too, so get some sand between your toes, take a relaxing swim or soak up the sun. The beach and lake are steps away from the park campground, making it a great option for camping families. 

Campsite along bank of Nolin River Lake

Nolin River Lake

Nolin River Lake near Leitchfield and Mammoth Cave National Park is known for its unique blue-green water and is considered one of the top five lakes in the state for catfish, bass, crappie and walleye fishing. The 5,800-acre lake is part of Nolin Lake State Park and there is a launching ramp for boats at the park. The park also features a sandy beach that’s open Memorial Day to Labor Day. 

Beach at Barren River Lake State Resort Park

Barren River Lake

Barren River Lake in south-central Kentucky near the small town of Lucas in Barren County has a beautiful beach at Barren River Lake State Resort Park. The beach is just a short walk away from the park’s Louie B. Nunn lodge, and there is a nearby playground where kids can run, play and have fun. Out on the lake, fishermen enjoy an abundance of fish including largemouth, white and hybrid striped bass, bluegill, channel catfish, crappie and rough fish. The 10,000-acre lake has federal protected Native American villages and burial sites around it, too. 

View of beach and lake at Buckhorn Lake

Buckhorn Lake

Enjoy the beautiful 1,200-acre Buckhorn Lake at Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park in southeastern Kentucky. Located in Leslie and Perry counties and inside Daniel Boone National Forest, the lake is surrounded by rugged landscapes with a series of narrow, winding valleys separated by steep watersheds and a network of continuously branching streams. Fish, boat, swim or ski on the lake and enjoy a stay at the park’s lodge. 

View of fishing boat near shore at Rough River Lake

Rough River Lake

Though the name may be Rough River Lake, visitors can enjoy gentle waves and peaceful views at Rough River Dam State Resort Park in south central Kentucky. The 5,100-acre lake is spread across Breckinridge, Hardin and Grayson counties. It offers a wide variety of water recreation opportunities, including boating, fishing, swimming and more. The marina offers 120 open slips, 31 slips for houseboats, 48 covered slips and rental pontoon boats, with a launching ramp available year-round.