Laurel River Lake

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Cliffllines at 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, rainbow trout, walleye, crappie, blue gill and catfish is excellent. Night fishing for trout is also popular during the summer months.

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.

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Campgrounds nearby:

Boat Ramps nearby:


At a Glance

Fees A recreation use fee is required for Flatwoods, Grove, Holly Bay, Marsh Branch and Laurel Bridge boat ramps. 
Permit Info: Recreation Permits
Open Season: Open All Year
Operated By: U.S. Forest Service
Information Center: London Ranger District
761 South Laurel Road
London, KY 40744  

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Camping & Cabins

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Nature Viewing

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Water Activities

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Recreation areas with activity Waterskiing:


Recreation areas with activity Tubing:


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.

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. 

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. 

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.