Lake Cumberland

Area Status: Open
This area is Open
 

As part of the Cumberland River, several boat ramps on national forest land provide access to Lake Cumberland, including Rockcastle Boat Ramp. This lake is a favorite destination for tourists from miles around. The lake provides excellent opportunities for boating, swimming, skiing, fishing and other water sport activities.  

Contact the London and Stearns district offices for more information.

The development of Lake Cumberland was authorized under the Flood Control Act of 1938 and the River and Harbor Act of 1946. The project was designed and supervised by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Nashville District. The dam and powerhouse were completed in 1952. 

At a Glance

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.
Restrictions:
  • You must comply with all regulations established by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources concerning fishing, boating and waterway safety laws. 
  • Alcohol use prohibited on national forest land and Kentucky lakes and waterways. (KRS 222.202)
  • Camping is prohibited within 300 feet of the following areas: High water line of the portion of Upper Lake Cumberland from the Mouth of Laurel Boat Ramp upstream on the Laurel River; or Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail (NRT-100) to the administrative boundary between National Forest System and U.S. Army Corps of Engineer lands (36 CFR 261.58(e)); (Order 14-04-15)
  • Camping is prohibited within 300 feet of the water’s edge of Laurel River Lake or Lake Cumberland except at sites designated for camping (36 CFR 261.58(e)); (Order 14-04-15)
  • Camping is prohibited within 300 feet of any Road or Trail leading to the waters edge of Laurel River Lake or Lake Cumberland except at sites designated for camping (36 CFR 261.58(e)); (Order 14-04-15)
  • No swimming or sunbathing within 100 feet of any boat launching ramp or courtesy boat dock. (Order DB-03-15)
  • No use of steel drums or barrels as floating devices. (Order DB-03-15)
  • No storing or leaving a watercraft unattended overnight at a location not designated for overnight boat storage. (Order DB-03-15)
  • No launching a motor boat at a site not designated for boat launching  (Order DB-03-15)
  • No fishing from any boat ramp or courtesy dock. (Order DB-03-15)
  • No landing of aircraft or dropping or picking up any material or person by means of an aircraft on waters of the DBNF. (Order DB-03-15)
  • PROHIBITED: Entry into areas closed for the protection of endangered, threatened, rare, unique, or vanishing species of plants, animals, birds, or fish. (Order DB-09-15)  
Information Center: London Ranger District
761 South Laurel Road
London, KY 40744
606-864-4163
859-428-7706

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Activities


Camping & Cabins

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Fishing

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Picnicking

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Water Activities

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/dbnf/recreation/recarea/?recid=74050