Laurel River Lake

Area Status: Open
Laurel River Lake

Laurel River Lake is located on London Ranger District and features 5,600 acres of clear, deep water and nearly 200 miles of tree-lined shore. The quiet coves and cliff-lined shores offer relaxation and quiet reflection, as well as boating, fishing, skiing and scuba diving in one of the deepest and cleanest lakes in Kentucky. Fishing for black bass, walleye, crappie, blue gill and catfish is excellent.

The U.S. Forest Service administers the lake and surrounding shoreline. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers oversees the operation of the lake's dam and nearby recreation facilities, including a picnic area and a swimming beach at the spillway.

Campgrounds nearby:

Boat Ramps nearby:


At a Glance

Fees: A recreation use fee is required for Flatwoods, Grove, Holly Bay, Marsh Branch, Craigs Creek and Laurel Bridge boat ramps. Recreation Permits and Passes
Information Center: ​​London Office Contact Information

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Campground Camping

Recreation areas with activity Campground Camping:

Holly Bay Campground and Grove Campground at Laurel River Lake are operated by concessionaires under a special-use permit with the U.S. Forest Service. Camping fees and open seasons vary. The campgrounds are generally open mid-April through mid-October.

RV Camping

Recreation areas with activity RV Camping:
Status: Open

Group Camping

Recreation areas with activity Group Camping:

Craigs Creek Group Area is designated for group camping. The sites are for tent camping only and do not have electricity. Each group camp area features a campfire circle, large grill, picnic tables and a lantern pole.

Dispersed Camping

Recreation areas with activity Dispersed Camping:

Primitive campsites must be at least 300 feet from shoreline, roads or trails leading to the lake.

Lake and Pond Fishing

Recreation areas with activity Lake and Pond Fishing:

The lake provides excellent fishing for bass, walleye, crappie, bluegill and catfish. Fishing licenses can be purchased at county clerk's offices, marinas, and many local stores. State fishing regulations are enforced. 

Viewing Wildlife

Recreation areas with activity Viewing Wildlife:

The quiet coves and surrounding forest offer plenty of opportunities to enjoy nature. The lake is home to Canada geese, bald eagles, and many other wildlife species.

The Canada Goose Management Area in Cane Branch is closed to motorized boats. 

Visitor Programs

Recreation areas with activity Visitor Programs:


Recreation areas with activity Picnicking:

The U.S. Forest Service manages the picnic areas at Laurel Bridge and Flatwoods on Laurel River Lake.

The Laurel Bridge area has flush toilets and a picnic shelter. 

Boating - Motorized

Recreation areas with activity Boating - Motorized:

Boat Ramps: Eight boat ramp locations provide convenient lake access. The boat ramps are developed at Craigs Creek, Flatwoods, Grove Marina, High Top, Holly Bay Campground, Holly Bay Marina, Laurel Bridge and Marsh Branch. 

The boat ramp at Holly Bay Campground is for campers only. 

Swimming is not allowed at the boat ramps.

Marinas: Two full-service marinas operate on Laurel River Lake. The marinas are located near Grove and Holly Bay campgrounds. The marinas are privately operated under a special-use permit issued by the U.S. Forest Service.  

Boating - Non-Motorized

Recreation areas with activity Boating - Non-Motorized:

The Goose Management Area on Cane Branch is closed to motorized boats but open to canoes, kayaks and rowboats. The area provides a unique opportunity to explore the lake at a slower pace. 

Scuba Diving

Recreation areas with activity Scuba Diving :

The clear waters of Laurel River Lake provide opportunities for scuba diving. Boats must stay 100 feet away from flags indicating that divers are below surface. 


Recreation areas with activity Swimming:

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers maintains a swimming beach at the spillway of Laurel River Lake dam. Lifeguards are not provided.


Recreation areas with activity Tubing:


Recreation areas with activity Waterskiing:

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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