Laurel River Lake, London District

Laurel River Lake is located on the London Ranger District. The 5,600 acres of deep, clear water and 192 miles of cliff-lined shore make it one of the most scenic lakes in Kentucky.

The Forest Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers work together to manage Laurel River Lake. The Forest Service administers the main body of the lake and most of its shoreline. The Corps of Engineers oversees the operation of Laurel River Dam and recreation facilities at the dam site.

Boat Ramps

There are eight boat launching ramps on Laurel River Lake. A recreation permit is required at the following boat ramps: Flatwoods, Grove, Holly Bay, Marsh Branch, Laurel Bridge.


Two full service marinas operate on Laurel River Lake. They are located near Grove and Holly Bay campgrounds. All marinas are operated by private interest, under special use permits issued by the Forest Service.


Drive-In Campgrounds. The Forest Service oversees two developed drive-in campgrounds. The campgrounds are open from mid-April through October.

Boat-In Campgrounds. Forest Service boat-in campgrounds at Grove and White Oak are accessible only by boat. The campgrounds provide drinking water, vault toilets and trash bins. Boat-in campgrounds are open year round.

Group Campgrounds. Craigs Creek Group Camp is designed to accommodate parties of 12 or more people. The camp has three group sites, a picnic shelter, drinking water, vault toilets, and trash bins. A short trail leads from the campground to the lake.

Lakeside Camping. Primitive camping is allowed at designated areas on the lake. These areas are marked with signs showing a tent symbol and the words "Primitive Camping". There are no facilities provided and campers must pack out their trash. Camping is also allowed in non-designated areas, but your site must be at least 300 feet from roads, trails, streams or shorelines.


The Forest Service operates picnic grounds at Laurel Bridge and Flatwoods on Laurel River Lake. The picnic grounds at Laurel Bridge have flush toilets and a picnic shelter. The Army Corps of Engineers maintains a picnic area near Laurel River Dam.

Goose Management Area

The embayment at Cane Branch is the site of the Canada Goose Management Area. This area is closed to motorized boats and is clearly marked as such. Help assure the success of these projects by obeying these restrictions.

When To Visit

Laurel River Lake is a popular recreation area and receives heavy use on weekends during the summer months. Those who prefer seclusion should consider visiting the lake during the week or at other times of the year.