RV Camping - All The Comforts Away From Home
Kentucky has a wide variety of RV camping locations with spectacular scenery, solitude, and interesting history. Public lands and private RV parks and campgrounds offer a wide range of camping facilities from full service RV hookup campsites to remote primitive camping (boondocking) locations throughout Kentucky.
Public Land offers many free RV dispersed camping opportunities. You can get free RV camping location tips from the USFS (USDA Forest Service) Ranger Districts. US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) also has some free RV camping facilities. Boondocking and Dispersed Camping has more information about how to find the best RV camping sites on public lands.
The following are just a few examples of free RV camping locations available throughout Kentucky.
South of Highway-24, 6 free areas with boat ramps in the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area. No facilities, but dump stations, maps, and water at north and south welcome stations and at Golden Pond Visitor Center.
Free recreational vehicle, as well as tent only campsites are available at the Sawyer Campground. From KY 90, west of Cumberland Falls, take KY 896 (north) to County Road 1609 to the campground. Fire pits, tent pads, and picnic tables.
Free RV camping is allowed at the USDA Forest Service S Tree Campground. 20 campsites with gravel parking, lantern poles, fire ring, picnic table, and tent pad. No water or trash. Take US 421 west from McKee for 0.5 mile, turn left (south) on KY 89 for 3 miles, turn right (west) on Forest Road 43. Go 1 mile, turn left (south) on Forest Road 20 and follow signs to the campground.
The Turkey Foot Campground has free camping available. Take KY 89 north from McKee for 3 miles, turn right (east) on Forest Road 4, follow the signs for 3 miles. This campground offers 15 campsites with fire rings, gravel parking, vault toilets, and lantern pole.
Just west of Paducah is the Ballard WMA (Wildlife Management Area). Designated campgrounds in a remote environment are available for RV Camping.
The Bell Farm Horse Camp makes a good free RV camping destination. Take US 27 south for 4.7 miles to KY 92. Turn right and go 1.2 miles then turn right on KY 92 at the Fastway Store. Go 5.3 miles to KY 1363, turn left and go 11.4 miles to the end of blacktop. Turn left and go 0.2 mile. You will find picnic tables and vault toilets. There is no water or trash pickup.
Free first come first serve camping is available at the Great Meadow Campground. Rock Creek passes this campground, and is stocked with trout. Take US 27 south for 4.7 miles to KY 92. Turn right and go 1.2 miles then turn right on KY 92 at the Fastway Store. Go 5.3 miles to KY 1363, turn left and go 11.4 miles to the end of blacktop. Turn right on Forest Road 564, go 1.2 miles then turn left on Forest Road 137 and go 4.4 miles. Area is on both sides of the road, first area (Deer loop) is on the right; second area (Raccoon loop) is on the left.
RV camping is available at developed public campgrounds throughout Kentucky. National Park Service, USDA Forest Service, USACE (US Army Corps of Engineers), and Kentucky State Parks offer great RV camping destinations with activities for the whole family. The following list is only a sample of public campgrounds available in Kentucky.
The General Butler State Resort Park offers RV camping facilities and recreation opportunities for the whole family. From Louisville, take I-71 to Carrollton. If you are coming from Huntington heading west off of I-64, take exit #172. Drive north on Hwy 1, to Triple A Hwy north. Take Triple A Hwy North to I-275 West. Drive West on I-275 to I 71/75 South, then I-71 South to Exit 44. Turn right on Hwy 227 to the Park.
The USDA Holly Bay Campground offers basic and premium campsites. Located near Laurel River Lake, each campsite has a paved vehicle pad, tent pad, fire ring, picnic tables, and lantern poles. Drive-in sites have electricity and water located at the site. Walk-in tent sites have access to centrally located water but do not have electricity available. 75 drive-in and 19 walk-in tent sites, centrally located dumpsters, restrooms, showers. RV Dump station available.
FALLS OF ROUGH
The Rough River Lake is managed by USACE (US Army Corps of Engineers) and offers developed camping at several campgrounds. From Louisville, W on US 60 to Harned, S 10 mi on KY 79.
Barkley Dam and Lake Barkley are managed by USACE (US Army Corps of Engineers). From Louisville, south on I-65 to Western Kentucky Parkway, 13 miles west on US 62 through Eddyville. Reservations are available for RV camping at eleven different developed facilities.
USACE (US Army Corps of Engineers) manages Grayson Lake and Dam. Located just seven miles south of Grayson, Kentucky on State Route 7. Recreation opportunities include boating, camping, rock climbing, fishing, hiking, and more.
First come first serve camping is available at Rockcastle Campground. This campground offers tent pads, grills, picnic table, and lantern poles. Not suitable for large RV's.
The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area offers the Blue Heron Campground. 45 water and electric hookup campsites are available for reservation. Fishing, hunting, and hiking are only some of the outdoor activities available for the whole family.
One of Kentucky's top tourist destinations is Mammoth Cave National Park. The largest cave system in the world with over 375 miles explored so far. The main campground offers 105 campsites suitable for RV's, and 2 other tent only campgrounds. Water, trash, and dump station.
Fort Boonesborough State Park offers a fully reconstructed working fort with cabins, blockhouse, furnishings, and resident artisans that apply early day craft and work skills. Over 150 standard electric campsites are available. Campsite reservations are available.
Koomer Ridge Campground is found on KY 15 between the Slade exit (#33) and the Beattyville exit (#40) off the Bert T. Combs Mountain Parkway. From Mountain Parkway at Slade exit, take KY 15 east for 5 miles. 19 RV camping sites, tent sites, vault and flush toilets, bath house with showers, water, grills, and picnic tables.
Public lands offer great camping in Kentucky. Federal, State, and private RV parks and campgrounds have RV camping sites with basic facilities such as picnic tables and fire rings to full hookup sites, and even exclusive RV resorts. You'll find free camping in the USDA Daniel Boone National Forest. Use the links to the public land web sites above for specific information about camping and public lands access. Research and explore, and you should have no trouble finding the best campsites.
USFS (US Forest Service) - Describes USFS policies and rules about RV camping. Information about dispersed camping, and tips on how to find great free RV camping sites.
NPS (National Park Service) - General information about RV camping and campgrounds in US National Parks. With campgrounds in the most historic and scenic places in the country, the NPS offers some of the best places for RV camping.
USACE/COE (US Army Corp of Engineers) - USACE (perhaps better know as COE) manages water recreation areas throughout the USA. Information about finding USACE lakes, RV camping possibilities, and rules and policies for use of these water based recreation areas is included.
Here's a list of places to consider when looking for a free overnight RV camping or parking location in Kentucky. We always recommend asking for overnight RV parking permission when looking for a free spot to spend the night. The smaller your RV, the better chances you will have finding places to stay if you choose not to ask permission. If you don't ask permission, you end up "sneaking" into places and hoping nobody bothers you or issues you a trespassing ticket before you move on.
Be smart and Be Safe...Ask Permission.
As you can see, there are a lot of free RV camping and parking possibilities in Kentucky. If you are not asking permission, it's best to keep a very low profile. If your RV has slide outs, jacks and TV antennas, don't use them so as not to draw attention to yourself. Consider your surroundings carefully and if you feel uncomfortable with the area, move somewhere else.