Dispersed Camping

Backcountry camping, also called dispersed camping, is allowed in many areas of the forest. Toilet, trash and camping facilities are not provided for dispersed camping. Self-reliance and the solitude of being in remote areas of the forest attracts dispersed campers year round.

View TreadLightly! Tips for Responsible Camping

There are a few important rules to remember when dispersed camping.

  • Many forest fires are caused by campfires. Learn how to safely build and put out your campfire. Help prevent forest fires by using camp stoves instead of building campfires. Obey any fire restrictions in place.

  • Dead or down trees may be used for firewood. Cutting live or standing trees is prohibited.

  • Rock shelters contain fragile resources. Camping or building fires in rock shelters is prohibited. (DB-02-15)

  • Kentucky law prohibits the consumption and open containers of alcohol in public places, including national forest land and Kentucky lakes and waterways.

  • Respect other campers by being quiet during the night hours.

  • Properly store food to avoid attracting bears.

  • At Cave Run Lake and Laurel River Lake, camping is PROHIBITED within 300 feet of the waters edge or within 300 feet of any road or trail leading to the waters edge. (DB-03-15).

  • In the Red River Gorge, camping withing 300 feet of any road or trail is prohibited. (12-02-15)


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Dispersed Camping Areas