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Kentucky Camping Destinations

Cave Run Lake


Cave Run Lake, Kentucky

View of Cave Run Lake from Zilpo campground

Photo © David Sweet licensed to About.com, Inc.

In the northern portion of Daniel Boone National Forest near Morehead Kentucky lies Cave Run Lake. This beautiful lake is man-made and provides flood protection to the lower Licking River valley. This lake is also very clean and anglers will enjoy fishing for muskie, largemouth and crappie.

Besides all the wildlife that abounds here, there's a beauty and serenity in these eastern Kentucky mountains that will lure you into wanting to stay. It's one thing to camp in scenic areas, but there's much more to do in these mountains than meets the eye. Consider these outdoor recreation possibilities:

  • Campers will find two of the largest campgrounds in the area right on the lake. Zilpo and Twin Knobs Recreation Areas offer over 400 campsites, some with RV hookups for water and electric. All the sites are spacious, most are wooded, and all are scenic. Both campgrounds also have modern restrooms, hot showers and swimming beaches.

  • Boaters and water skiers enjoy this lake too. There are two private marinas on the lake that offer food, supplies, and boat rentals; and there are another 12 boat ramps around the lake.

  • Bring your camera and binoculars for some great wildlife viewing. The lake attracts deer and many small creatures of the forest, but you might also catch a glimpse of a rare bald eagle or an eastern cougar, both on the endangered species list. Word has it that there may be bear here too.

  • Spelunking is a big attraction in this area with its 1000's of caves. Be sure that any recreational caving is done with experienced cavers and under proper supervision.

  • The forest service has set aside 7610 acres for hunting wild turkey and white-tailed deer with primitive weapons.

  • Equestrians can enjoy over 100 miles of trails in the Cave Run area alone and stay at White Sulphur Horse Camp, which has facilities that include a watering trough, horse trailer parking, and picket lines.

  • Hikers will find over 115 miles of trails wandering through the forests and along the cliffs around Cave Run Lake.

  • For panoramic views of the mountains and a great picnic spot, take the leisurely hike to Tater Knob Fire Tower, the last tower standing in Daniel Boone National Forest.

  • Other activities include bird watching, mountain biking, rock climbing, boating, fishing, and off-roading.

Cave Run Lake is no secret and attracts a summer crowd. But don't be discouraged because with a little planning and some reservations you'll be heading to a great outdoor destination.

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