Lakes and Rivers of The Kentucky Wildlands

From world-class boating and record-setting fishing to clear-water swimming, skiing, canoeing and kayaking, the pristine lakes of The Kentucky Wildlands are the ideal destinations for exciting water recreation and adventurous outdoor fun.

Many of the lakes scattered throughout The Kentucky Wildlands offer not only one-of-a-kind experiences but also breathtaking surroundings, such as Laurel River Lake with its cliff-lined shores and submerged rock formations popular with scuba divers. At Laurel River Lake you’ll also find fishing (including black bass, rainbow trout, walleye, crappie, blue gill and catfish, as well as summertime night-fishing for trout), boating, skiing, shoreline hiking, wildlife viewing and picnicking.

Many of the lakes offer exclusive and unparalleled water sports thrills, such as Lake Cumberland, known as the Houseboat Capital of the World and home to many of the world’s finest houseboats (rentals available). Lake Cumberland also boasts the state-record 58-pound caught striped bass (with 40 and 50 pounders caught regularly), as well as dozens of indigenous and seasonal birds and plentiful wildlife. Overlooking the lake, Lake Cumberland State Resort Park features the 63-room Lure Lodge, 120-plus campsites, mini golf, swimming, picnicking and more.

Many lakes, such as Carr Creek Lake, offer easy accessibility and feature full-service marinas. Many provide lakeside cabin rentals and lodging at nearby state resort parks. And a number of lakes offer on-site campgrounds, such as Cave Run Lake with nearly 400 campsites, as well as 12 boat ramps that access its 8,000-plus acres of clean water and connected paths to scenic hiking throughout the winding forest.

You’ll find many other beautiful, awe-inspiring lakes in The Kentucky Wildlands, such as the wildlife-abundant Fishtrap Lake and family-favorite Wood Creek Lake, home of the state-record 13-pound caught largemouth bass.

Hidden Gems in the Kentucky Wildlands

Liberty Park Veteran's Wall

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Asher Hunting Access Area

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Zilpo Road National Forest Scenic Byway

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