Hemlock Grove Picnic Area

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Hemlock Grove Picnic Area, located on Stearns Ranger District of the Daniel Boone National Forest, was named for the eastern hemlock trees that surround the picnic area. Their shade provides a cool respite from the summer heat.

Please note that the toilet facilities are closed during the winter season. 

View Hemlock Grove Guide and Map

Rock Creek, a Kentucky Wild River and federally proposed Recreation River, flows adjacent to the picnic area. The creek is stocked with rainbow trout year-round. 

Trails nearby: 
Gobblers Arch Trail #636; Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail #100 Section 37 and Section 38

At a Glance

Operational Hours: This recreation area is for day-use only, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Camping and overnight use is prohibited.
Reservations: The shelter may be reserved by calling the Stearns Ranger District office at 606-376-5323.
Area Amenities: Accessible,Picnic tables,Toilets
Fees The picnic shelter may be reservered for $25/day. Unless rented, the shelter is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
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: Open All Year
Usage: Medium
  • No horses allowed in picnic area.
  • Hours are from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Camping and overnight use prohibited. 36 CFR 261.58 (u).
  • Food and trash storage are mandatory, to reduce odors that attract bears. Unless cooking or eating, store your food inside a hardtop vehicle, the trunk of a car or a bear-resistant container. (Order DB-02-15)
  • Alcohol use prohibited: Consumption of alcohol is prohibited on national forest land and Kentucky lakes and waterways. KRS 222.202; (Order DB-02-15)
  • No fires outside of a fire ring provided by the Forest Service or outside of a stove, grill or fireplace.(36 CFR 261.16)
  • Your fire must be DEAD OUT before leaving. (36 CFR 261.5) You will be held liable for suppression costs if your fire starts a wildfire.
  • 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, (36 CFR 261.11)
  • PROHIBITED: Dumping of any refuse, debris, trash or litter brought as such from private property. (36 CFR 261.11)
  • PROHIBITED:Tying horses or livestock to trees or lantern posts. Use picket lines and corrals to secure horses. (Order DB-07-15)
  • PROHIBITED: Allowing horses or livestock on gravel impact areas (tent pads). (Order DB-07-15)
Closest Towns: Whitley City, KY
Water: None
Restroom: Vault toilets
Operated By: U.S. Forest Service
Information Center: Stearns Ranger District
3320 US 27 North
Whitley City, KY 42653  

General Information


From the Stearns Ranger District office, take US 27 south for 4.7 miles to KY 92. Turn right on KY 92 at the traffic light. Go 6.3 miles to KY 1363; turn left and go 11.4 miles to the end of the blacktop, and then turn right on Forest Service Road 564. Go 1.2 miles and turn left onto Forest Service Road 137. Go 2.6 miles to the picnic area on the left.


Picnic sites, shelter, parking and toilets are accessible.


Parking is available at the picnic area and shelter.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



Show detail SHOW


Show detail SHOW


Picnic tables There are 6 sites with picnic tables, along with tables at the shelter.
Toilets 2 toilets are available.
Accessible Picnic sites, shelter, parking and toilets are accessible.