Best Camping in Kentucky

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Camping in Kentucky

By Alex Murphy

The Bluegrass State offers a lot of history, including historic cities like Frankfort and Louisville, plus quick access over the Ohio River to Cincinnati, Ohio.

With dozens of state parks and Mammoth Cave National Park, there's plenty to do, so pack your camping gear for some of the best stops in Kentucky.

See a map of all camping in Kentucky.

Kentucky State Parks

There are 45 Kentucky State Parks, each unique in its own way, from golfing to lakes and rivers and even ancient history.

Campers can stay in the dense trees at My Old Kentucky Home State Park with easy access to a popular golf course. For a mix of history and science, Big Bone Lick State Park is home to a bison herd and artifacts from the Ice Age, including a display of prehistoric animals trapped in a pit. Taylorsville Lake State Park is a short drive from the famous Kentucky Derby and offers equestrian-friendly camping along with a lake for fishing and boating.

National Parks in Kentucky

There are two great National Parks to check out while camping in Kentucky.

Mammoth Cave National Park is home to the world's longest-known cave system. In addition to touring the caves, visitors can enjoy hiking trails, kayaking, and canoeing.

Campers looking for tent sites and RV spots within the park can check out either Mammoth Cave Campground or Maple Springs Campground. Another popular spot just outside the park with RV hookups is Singing Hills RV Park & Campground in Cave City.

Another big attraction in Kentucky is Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area. This unique park is essentially a piece of land located between two lakes on the Kentucky and Tennessee border.

All campgrounds within the area have water access and including Birmingham Ferry Campground and Cravens Bay Campground.

Kentucky RV Parks

If you're visiting the Blue Grass State with a camper, there are plenty of notable Kentucky RV Parks.

For camping near art and popular food spots in Louisville, check out the Derby Park Campground & RV Park. Visitors looking for nature on the southern side of the state can check out Conley Bottom Resort which sits on the Cumberland River.

Free Camping in Kentucky

Free camping in Kentucky is heavily focused on the state's National Forests, but there are a few roadside areas for travelers and other parks with free camping worth checking out.

Wilson Creek Recreation Area has five campsites, picnic tables, and a vault toilet and is close to Green River Lake in the central part of the state.

Those driving through have several options at businesses like Walmart and Cabela's and other spots like the I-24 Welcome Center. Be sure to ask permission from the store manager before settling in for the night.

Kentucky National Forests

Kentucky is home to two National Forests and one wilderness area, each with some distinct differences.

Daniel Boone National Forest, home to the Red River Gorge, is known for some of the world's best rock climbing. The area is known for its rugged land and rolling hills. Tent campers can find secluded spots in S-Tree Campground, while those with a camper may have better luck with an RV site at Turkey Foot Campground.

Southwest of there is Beaver Creek Wilderness which is an area protecting many rivers and streams. Visitors can find dispersed camping at sites like Swain Ridge Road.

Jefferson National Forest shares an area with Virginia and West Virginia and is home to a section of the Appalachian Mountains. Many of the best spots to camp are found over the state line in Virginia.

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Recent Kentucky Campground Reviews

Scottsville, KY

Barren River Tailwater

May 14, 2021

"Nice COE campground "

Nice campground. Gravel/grass sites

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Warren Colburn
8 reviews
May 13, 2021

"Great family weekend"

We stayed here with our theee teen boys and really enjoyed it. They had a basketball goal, volleyball net and heated pool. The kids playground was well kept and boat rentals are easy to access. All sites are paved and level and the patio furniture was new and nice. We will definately be coming back to this one.

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Amber Crittendon
3 reviews
Bowling Green, KY

Bowling Green KOA

May 10, 2021

"Nice, clean, quiet- with neat cabins. "

Spent just one night,every thing just fine.Clean and rather level for our A37 short pull thru. They have some neat tiny cabins facing a pond. Quiet - did not hear a thing.

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Jeffrey Grubbs
12 reviews
Frankfort, KY

Elkhorn Campground

May 10, 2021

"Sites really close together "

We stayed two nights with full hook ups. It’s an okay little campground. If you stay next to the creek I’m sure it would be a little nicer but the sites are still pretty close together. There’s a run down trailer park pretty close to the campground which isn’t very eye appealing when you arrive. The bath house is really nice and they have a...
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Steve McCubbins
1 review
Stanton, KY

4 Guys RV Park

May 10, 2021

"Beautiful Mountains "

Well maintained RV park. Bathrooms and showers were spotless. We were at the back of the park close to the pond so the traffic noise was low. Only noise was the bullfrogs in the pond. Stanton is about 10 miles away and is small but has several stores. No Wal Mart. Staff at the park were very helpful in telling us about local attractions. If ever...
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Pat Johnson
5 reviews