Cave Run Lake

Area Status: Open
Cave Run Lake Canoe 500x328

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.

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. Recreation Permits and Passes‚Äč
Closest Towns: Morehead, KY
Information Center: Cumberland Office Contact Information

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


Campground Camping

Recreation areas with activity Campground Camping:

Dispersed Camping

Recreation areas with activity Dispersed Camping:

Cabin Rentals

Recreation areas with activity Cabin Rentals:

Lake and Pond Fishing

Recreation areas with activity Lake and Pond Fishing:

River and Stream Fishing

Recreation areas with activity River and Stream Fishing:


Recreation areas with activity Picnicking:

Boating - Motorized

Recreation areas with activity Boating - Motorized:

Boating - Non-Motorized

Recreation areas with activity Boating - Non-Motorized:


Recreation areas with activity Swimming:


Recreation areas with activity Tubing:


Recreation areas with activity Waterskiing:

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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