Cave Run Lake

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Cave Run Lake Canoe

Photo by Patrick Jennings

Cave Run Lake is nestled among the rolling hills of northeastern Kentucky. It is located on the Cumberland Ranger District of the Daniel Boone National Forest. This 8,270-acre lake provides flood protection and a clean water supply to area communities. Tourists enjoy the lake for its scenery and excellent recreation opportunities. 

Boating, camping, fishing, hiking, hunting and wildlife viewing are some of the activities enjoyed by visitors.

Recreation Areas

Campgrounds: The Twin Knobs and Zilpo campgrounds provide nearly 400 campsites, some with RV hook-ups. The campgrounds also have swimming beaches and group-use picnic areas.

Boat ramps: Cave Run Lake has 12 ramps for boat launching. A Claylick (area is unavailable), Poppin Rock, Longbow, Scott Creek and Warix boat ramps. Passes may be purchased at local vendors.

Picnic areas: The Billy Branch and Boat Gunnel picnic areas are popular locations near Cave Run Lake. 

Trails: Several trails are developed in the Cave Run Lake area. These trails wind through the forest, providing scenic views and glimpses of wildlife. 

Some of the most popular recreation areas around Cave Run Lake include:
Twin Knobs Recreation Area
Zilpo Recreation Area

White Sulphur Horse Camp
Clear Creek Recreation Area
Clay Lick Boat-in Campground

At a Glance

Fees Some recreation areas and boat ramps require the purchase of a fee pass.
Closest Towns: Morehead, KY
Operated By: U.S. Forest Service
Information Center: Cumberland Ranger District
2375 KY 801 South
Morehead, KY 40351

General Information


The lake is 60 miles east of Lexington, Kentucky. Exits 123, 133, and 137 off Interstate 64 provide the primary access routes.


The recreation areas, boat ramps and trailheads have parking areas. 

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Camping & Cabins

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Water Activities

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