Best Tent Camping Kentucky  by Johnny Molloy

Best Tent Camping: Kentucky Guide Book

by Johnny Molloy (Menasha Ridge Press)
Best Tent Camping Kentucky  by Johnny Molloy
Best Tent Camping: Kentucky by author Johnny Molloy leads you to the best tent camping destinations within the Bluegrass State, describing not only of the campgrounds themselves, but also the fun outdoorsy activities nearby. The book uses a rating system, which includes campground privacy, security, beauty, quiet, and cleanliness, and gives inside tips on how to be enjoy each particular destination from your chosen campground. It also details prices, opening and closing dates, websites, and other information that will help you utilize your precious time to the fullest, enjoying your Kentucky tent camping experience.

© 2015 Johnny Molloy/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Best Tent Camping: Kentucky" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 50.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 50.

Camp on the Big South Fork near Kentucky’s highest waterfall. Located near a boat landing on the Big South Fork, the campground is strung along a dead-end gravel road on the edge of the river gorge. What made it even better were all the recreational opportunities nearby—hiking, boating, fishing, and swimming.
Whitley City, KY - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
As you might imagine by the name, Bailey’s Point is on a peninsula; it’s also the site of a pre–Civil War homestead. Much of the peninsula, which juts into lower Barren River Lake, is high ground with bluffs overlooking the old Barren River meander. Other parts of Bailey’s Point reach gently down for the lake, forming small coves where campers play and swim. Being at the end of the dead-end road and having a campground host manning the entrance makes for a safe and quiet campground, its own inclusive camping getaway. When you come here, you won’t have to leave your watery retreat.
Scottsville, KY - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
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Simply put, Beaver Creek is one of those small, out-of-the-way campgrounds to which tent campers gravitate. It is located at the point where the Skaggs Creek and Beaver Creek arms of Barren River Lake meet. This fine piece of real estate is a great place at which to overnight. The campground itself is on a hill above the lake, affording good views of the water below.
Glasgow, KY - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
Vacationers have been coming to Bee Rock for a couple of hundred years to get away from it all. In the early 1800s, Sublimity Spring Resort Hotel stood where the campground now lies. Columbus Graham, a hero in the War of 1812, ran the resort, which offered an escape from malaria, yellow fever, and other plagues of the lower South. It was described as “an Eden for children, a sanitarium for invalids, a paradise for lovers, and a haven of rest for the tired.” How does that sound?
London, KY - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
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The north end of the Land Between the Lakes, or LBL, is really more than land between Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley—in fact, “Land Darn Near Encircled by Lakes” might be a more appropriate description. The area is enveloped on three sides by water, as Lake Barkley not only covers the land’s eastern flank but also curves around and circles its northern side. Kentucky Lake forms the western border.
Lake City, KY - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
Blue Heron Campground is a well-kept campground in the middle of the rugged Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area (BSFNRRA). Here you can enjoy the bluffs, forests, and waterways of this Kentucky treasure and return to your refuge amid a wilderness. Blue Heron is a great base camp from which to explore the northern Big South Fork.
Strunk, KY - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
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Both Kentucky and Virginia lay claim to this beautiful park. Over the last half century, the Breaks’ natural beauty has been made accessible with the improvement of tortuous mountain roads that now lead to fantastic hiking, kayaking, nature viewing, and some decent tent camping. Be apprised, however, that the campground does not match the scenery. Few campgrounds could match the beauty this park holds, so I recommend coming here for your experiences at the park; the campground is not an attraction in and of itself.
Breaks, VA - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
There is no easy way to reach Buckhorn Lake, but once you get here you will be rewarded. Here, the Middle Fork Kentucky River is dammed, forming a narrow, twisting, spindly snake of a lake. Visitors to this eastern Kentucky destination can enjoy not only the lake but also the tailwaters below the dam. It is below the dam, along these tailwaters, where Buckhorn Campground lies, enabling visitors to enjoy Buckhorn Lake and the river, too, along with some land-based recreation in these crumpled Kentucky mountains.
Buckhorn, KY - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
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If you like a wide variety of activities concentrated into one area, Carter Caves is the place for you. The fact that it is honeycombed with numerous caverns is given away in its name. Visitors can tour them in varied fashion from easy walking tours to down and dirty cave crawls. But there’s more—as in 20 miles of hiking trails, canoe trips on lakes and rivers, fishing, boating, and horseback riding. With all this to do, you probably won’t be spending much time in the campground, which is a mixture of desirable and less-than-desirable sites.
Olive Hill, KY - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
This pretty, well-maintained destination has a friendly atmosphere. Located on a hill above the Cave Creek arm of Rough River Lake, the campground offers a variety of campsites in different situations.
Falls of Rough, KY - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
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Clear Creek lies next to the best mountain biking and hiking in the northern part of the Daniel Boone National Forest. The campground is laid out in a flat along Clear Creek. Enter the campground, and take a left up the flat to sites 1–12. A lush forest of oaks, dogwoods, and tulip trees shades the camps, which are well separated by these trees and thick undergrowth; it’s hard to see from one site to the next. Several streamside sites are snapped up first.
Salt Lick, KY - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
Kentucky’s best camping in the “Far West” is perched on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. You won’t believe the trees at this park. There are some huge ones—cottonwoods, sugar maples, and oaks—throughout this preserve located on dramatic bluffs of the Mississippi River. The park campground is situated on a high bluff several hundred feet above the mighty Mississippi, with the campsites laid out in a loop.
Columbus, KY - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
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Cravens Bay Campground is overshadowed by more-popular campgrounds at Land Between the Lakes (LBL) National Recreation Area, said to be Kentucky’s most-visited tourist attraction. It so happens that Cravens Bay lies at the end of a road leading to Lake Barkley, and none of the popular LBL attractions are nearby.
Eddyville, KY - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
The scenery around here is stunning, whether you’re looking at the park’s namesake falls; hiking along the Cumberland River, where rich woods and massive boulders lie below sheer cliff lines; seeing an old homesite on the Blue Bend Loop; or photographing a bed of wildflowers on Anvil Branch. Nature reigns at this special slice of the Bluegrass State.
Corbin, KY - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
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Dale Hollow is one of Kentucky’s larger state parks, at 3,400 acres. And the fact that it is on a peninsula and nearly surrounded by water makes it seem more in the back of beyond. This water, Dale Hollow Lake, is what many consider to be the prettiest lake in the South. I’m sure this point could be argued, since Kentucky alone has many very scenic lakes; however, Dale Hollow’s attractiveness is inarguable. It is also inarguable that this campground is one of the quietest around, set in rolling hills in the middle of the peninsula with nothing but woods in all directions, making a get-back-to-nature experience very easy here.
Burkesville, KY - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
Dog Creek offers high-quality tent camping on Nolin Lake. While we can only speculate how Dog Creek got its name—maybe a dog was lost or found or born here, way back when—we do know that Nolin Lake received its name from the Nolin River, which is impounded to form the lake. The name Nolin comes from early area settlers who were overnighting on the river.
Cub Run, KY - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
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The rainy-day camping shelters here are just one reason to stay at Energy Lake. Energy Lake is an ideal example of enhancing natural resources to create a better recreation area. Start with a rolling shoreline on a scenic body of water. Integrate a just-the-right-size campground into the landscape. Add a few amenities, but keep its rustic feel. Locate it where there are activities right at the campground with others nearby. What you end up with is a complete tent camping package.
Golden Pond, KY - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
Fishing Creek is a first-rate campground set on the shores of Lake Cumberland, a huge reservoir with many arms and fingers. The campground is near the town of Somerset, on the Fishing Creek arm of the lake. As has been the case with many lakeside campgrounds, the Army Corps of Engineers pulled out the stops and constructed a fine place. And they charge for it, too. On arrival you will first notice the above-average play and picnic areas beside the boat ramp leading into Lake Cumberland. A nice swimming beach is located below the picnic area. Beyond the entrance station you will see the campground.
Somerset, KY - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
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Pitch your tent where Daniel Boone did back in 1775. Specifically, he spied out Sycamore Flats, the primitive camping area at what is now the state park, for his fort out of which a town would grow. Before he could get started, though, one of his comrades persuaded Boone to locate the fort on higher ground adjacent to Sycamore Flats. Fort Boonesborough was eventually abandoned, as settlers went on to greener pastures. Finally, a fellow bought the property in the early 1900s. Then his son donated it to the state of Kentucky, which developed the park where you can now camp at the location where Daniel and company laid their heads.
Winchester, KY - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
At the point where the state park is currently located, there was a high point around which the Cumberland River made a sharp bend. When the river was dammed downstream and Lake Cumberland formed, an island was formed on the high point, creating what has become General Burnside Island State Park. The Big South Fork of the Cumberland meets the main part of the river at the south end of the island, adding another watery venue that can be explored from the park. The 430-acre island is reached by bridge. The campground is located in rolling wooded terrain and offers a quiet setting. The various loops offer different types of campsites. The two loops as you enter the campground have sites 1–50; all are very large, and most are shaded. A rolling grassy lawn provides the understory, cutting down on privacy. At some sites you pitch your tent on the grass; at others you pitch it under the trees.
Burnside, KY - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
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