Barren Fork Horse Camp

Area Status: Open

The Barren Fork Horse Camp, located on Stearns District of the Daniel Boone National Forest, is a popular campground for horseback riders who enjoy the forest setting. Several interconnecting trails provide miles of riding pleasure. A nearby pond has water for horses. Visitors can also enjoy fishing at a nearby pond.Campers without horses are welcome to camp here. There are no hookups or dump sites.

View Guide with Map

Barren Fork Area Trail Map, 11x17

The campground offers 41 campsites that accommodate horse trailers and RVs up to 35 feet. A picnic shelter at the campground is available for group-use. 

Negative Coggins Test Required. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture requires a negative Coggins or similar test for equine infectious anemia and a valid certificate of veterinary inspection.

Area Trails: Arabian #622 (4 miles) and Canter #625 (2.75 miles) are close to the horse camp and connect with other trails such as the Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail  Section 30 (10 miles), Belgian #624 (3 miles), Flat Rock Ridge #616 (1.5 miles), Draft #617 (.75 miles), Indian Creek #626 (1.75 miles) and North Flat Rock #627 (3 miles). 

Site history: The Barren Fork Horse Camp was once the site of a coal mining town operated by the Barren Fork Mining and Coal Company. The mining activities occurred from 1881 to 1935, producing what was considered some of the best quality low-sulfur coal in McCreary County at the time.

Nearby Facilities: Barren Fork Picnic Area

At a Glance

Operational Hours: Campers only from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Reservations: The Barren Fork Picnic Shelter may be reserved for group-use, with no more than 10 in a group, by calling the Stearns office at 606-376-5323. Unless reserved, the shelter is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Area Amenities: Tent camping,Camping trailer,Picnic tables,Toilets,Drinking water
Fees: There is a $15/night fee for overnight camping. Pay at site using fee envelope. Recreation Passes and Permits
Open Season: April 1 - November 15
Water: Drinking water is available from five faucets in the campground. Nearby pond has water for horses
Restroom: Vault toilets
Information Center:

General Information

  • From Somerset, go south on US 27 for 22 miles to the Stearns office, on your left. From Whitley City, go north on US 27 for 3.7 miles to the Stearns office on your right.
  • From I-75: Take exit 25 for US 25W toward Corbin. Turn right at US-25W S/Cumberland Falls Road and go 7.4 miles then take a slight right at KY 90 W. Go 20 miles and turn south onto US 27 for 5.7 miles to Stearns office.

Next to Stearns office, take Barren Fork Road for (Forest Service Road 684) 0.8 miles. Turn right at the split in road. Go 0.1 mile. to campground at right.


Parking is available at the campsites. Day visitors must park in the overflow parking area. 


One toilet facility is accessible for persons with disabilities. Area trails do not meet accessibility standards for persons with disabilities.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Campground Camping

No. of Sites 41 sites that can accommodate horse trailers.
Reservation Info The picnic shelter can be reserved at the Stearns Ranger Station.
Fire Information Campfires are to be built in firerings. 

Lake and Pond Fishing

Horse Camping

No. of Sites 41
Corrals Available
Hitching Rails Available


Camping trailer: The campground can accommodate RVs up to 35 feet. There are no hookups or dump sites.
Picnic tables: Picnic tables are available at the picnic shelter and at some camp sites.
Tent camping: Campers without horses are welcome to camp here.
Toilets: Vault toilet meets accessibility standards for persons with disabilities.
Drinking water: Drinking water is available from five faucets in the campground. Nearby pond has water for horses.

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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