S-Tree Campground

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

S Tree Campground

S-Tree Campground sits on a ridge above Horse Lick Creek on London Ranger District near McKee in Jackson County, Kentucky. A small picnic area features a historic picnic shelter that was constructed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The campground receives heavy weekend use from off-highway vehicle users who ride the adjacent Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail, Section #25 and the Renfro Loop Trail. These trails may be accessed from the campground.

This campground cannot accommodate trailers 25 feet or more due to one lane roads and no turn-outs. Each campsite has a picnic table, tent pad, fire ring and lantern pole. No electricity or dump station available.Vault toilets are centrally located. Campsites and shelter are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Loop A has two double campsites. Loop B has two fire circles. All of the campsites are wooded.

Picnicking nearby: A picnic shelter with tables is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Other picnic sites are located near an area where a fire lookout tower once stood.

View S-Tree Campground Guide & Map (pdf)

S-Tree Fire Tower once stood near the entrance to the campground. Towers like these were important tools in detecting and fighting devastating forest fires. Fire towers were home to the lookouts who ran them. A tower cab was just big enough for a wood stove, two cots, a cabinet, storage box, small table, and a stool. The all-important alidade, or fire finder, stood in the middle of the room. By the mid-1970s, firefighters used aircraft for fire detection. Many towers, like one that stood here, were torn down because they could no longer be maintained in a safe condition.

Nearby Trails: Renfro Loop Trails 
Sheltowee Trace Trail #100 Section 25 

At a Glance

Area Amenities: Tent camping,Picnic tables,Toilets
Fees None
Permit Info: A Special Use Permit is required for commercial activities (for example: fishing tournaments, boat rentals, trail rides, outfitter guides, races, etc). A permit is also required for all noncommercial group uses involving more than 75 people.
Open Season: Half of the campground is open all year; one loop closed seasonally.
Usage: Light
  • Food and trash storage are mandatory, to reduce odors that attract bears. Unless cooking or eating, store your food and trash inside a hardtop vehicle, the trunk of a car or a bear-resistant container. (DB-02-15)
  • Alcohol use is prohibited national forest land and Kentucky lakes and waterways. (KRS 222.202)
  • No fires outside of a fire ring provided by the Forest Service or outside of a stove, grill or fireplace. (Order DB-02-15)
  • Campfire must be DEAD OUT before leaving. (36 CFR 261.5) You will be held liable for suppression costs if your campfire starts a wildfire.
The following are prohibited:
  • Failing to dispose of all garbage, including any paper, can, bottle, sewage, waste water or material, or rubbish either by removal from the site or area, or by depositing it into receptacles or at places provided for such purposes. (36 CFR 261.11)
  • Dumping of any refuse, debris, trash or litter brought as such from private property. (36 CFR 261.11)
  • Camping or maintaining a campsite for more than 14 consecutive days without having first terminated occupancy of that campground for a minimum of 10 days within a 31 day time frame. (Order DB-01-15)
  • Entering or remaining in a designated campground between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. except for persons occupying the campsite.(Order DB-01-15)
  • Failing to remove all camping equipment or personal property when vacating the site. 36 CFR 261.16 (f).  
  • Occupying any portion of the site for other than recreation purposes. 36 CFR 261.16 (a).  
  • Placing, maintaining, or using camping equipment except in a place specifically designated or provided for such equipment. 36 CFR 261.16 (g).
  • Leaving camping equipment unattended for more than 24 hours without permission. 36 CFR 261.16 (i).
  • Failing to have at least one person occupy a camping area during the first night after camping equipment has been set up. 36 CFR 261.16 (h).      
Closest Towns: McKee, KY
Restroom: Vault toilets are available.
Operated By: U.S. Forest Service
Information Center: London Ranger District
761 South Laurel Road
London, KY 40744

General Information


From Berea: From I-75 take Berea Exit 76. Head east on KY 21. Stay on KY 21E (Big Hill Road) approximately 5 miles until it ends at US 421. Turn right (south) on US 421. Take US 421 west for approximately 18 miles to McKee KY, then turn right (south) on KY 89 for 3 miles, make a slight right (west) on Forest Road 43 (S-Tree Road). Go 1 mile, turn left (south) on Forest Road 20 (Tussey Hill Road) and follow the signs.

From McKee: Take US 421 west from McKee for 0.5 mile. Turn left (south) on KY 89 for 3 miles, make a slight right (west) on Forest Road 43 (S-Tree Road). Go 1 mile, turn left (south) on Forest Road 20 (Tussey Hill Road) and follow the signs.


This campground does not meet accessibility standards for persons with disabilities. 


Parking is available at the campground. 

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Camping & Cabins

Show detail SHOW


Show detail SHOW


Picnic tables Picnic tables are available at each campsite.Three picnic areas and a picnic shelter are located near the campground entrance.
Tent camping The campground has 20 campsites. Loop B is open all year with 10 campsites.
Toilets Toilets are available near the picnic shelter and the campsites.