Camping within an hour of Lexington, KY...recs?

Discussion in 'Let me tell you about my trip' started by nkcrouch, Jan 12, 2020.

  1. nkcrouch

    nkcrouch Member

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    Hi All!
    We are visiting Kentucky this summer, and we need some recommendations for where to camp. We will be a group of 7 in a pop-up and a tent. We are considering Fort Boonesborough (seems crowded but lots for the kids), Kentucky Horse Park, Big Bone Lick (this seems like it might keep everyone the happiest), and I don't know where else. We want to visit the Horse Park, The Ark Encounter, and Buffalo Trace Distillery during this week. The rest of the time can be fishing, hiking, swimming, or whatever we may find. This will be in July--early or late as we have the middle week already booked for the Mammoth Cave area. Campgrounds with a playground are a huge plus as we have 4 children. Shade is also a beautiful thing. I have already discussed the summers with friend from Lexington who informed that while it is still warm/hot, it is not as sticky as it is here in Georgia. Thank you!
     
  2. RobinPM

    RobinPM New Member

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    We have been to Big Bone Lick; one nice thing is that there is a pool within the campground - unusual for a state park. Most pools are fairly far from the campground (if the state park even has a pool) and also charge an entrance fee.
     
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  3. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    There are so many selections. KY has some very nice state parks. I would look at KY state parks. Also Daniel Boone National Forest is all around KY. I would check out the NF. Lower mid state you have Mammoth Cave National park.

    I would look at Natural Bridge SP, or it's neighbor the Red River Gorge NF. I believe both are within one hour of the eastern side of lexington. Red River Gorge in the Daniel Boone NF. I believe it is only none electric, but very big and nice campground
     
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  4. Rusty2192

    Rusty2192 Well-Known Member

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    I was also going to suggest Natural Bridge and Red River Gorge, which are right at an hour southeast of Lexington. At Natural Bridge the Middle Fork Campground has fewer trees and will have the bigger rigs. I personally prefer the Whittleton campground. It’s tucked into a tight valley with big trees all around.

    There’s only one public campground at the Gorge, Koomer Ridge. Only a portion of the sites will accommodate trailers. Like tenttrailer said, no electric or water hookups, but there are showers during the summer. There are some private campgrounds popping up in the area now, but they are mostly just fields with slots for big RVs.

    I haven’t gotten to stay at Boonesborough yet, but I love both the Horse Park and Big Bone.

    You could check out Elkhorn Campground in Frankfort, which is private. I haven’t stayed there myself but have only heard good things about it. It would be less than 10 minutes from Buffalo Trace.
     
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  5. crackerJack

    crackerJack Well-Known Member

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    Cave City Jellystone is great for kids and very expensive.
    Southern KY mid summer can be as hot and humid as anywhere in the south.
     
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  6. nkcrouch

    nkcrouch Member

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    Thank you all for the wonderful recommendations. We have also added Levi Jackson Wilderness Road Park to the list. I will let you all know what we finally decide for our Lexington leg of the trip. In the Mammoth Cave area, we are staying at Nolin Lake State Park. It looks like it will be beautiful. Heck, Kentucky just looks beautiful. We are very excited.
     
  7. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    . Brings back the memories. Two years ago I visited Mammoth cave and also stayed at Nolin State Park. I honestly didn't spend much time at the campground. When I visited the lake was at it's all time low and they closed that part of the park off. However it was mainly a place to lay the head as my entire two days was at Mamouth cave. The campground was fairly small, and the road is narrow. I had to turn around in the bathroom parking area to get an easier swing into my spot. What I do remember is the road to get to mamouth cave took about 30 or so minutes. The campground gave me a map to help locate mamouth cave so that helped. The caves were huge and be sure to have a good set of walking shoes Advil if you have bad knees and a sweater it gets cold in there even when it's 90 outside. I personally did two different tours. The lantern tour was quite fun but strenuous and my knees didn't like me too much at the end, but I thought worth it. It's not a very showy cave (not many stalagmites/tites) but very large and long. Oh and there are definitely bats in there and a good amount of history. I did a little light hiking after the cave tours but the knee had other ideas. Not much in the area so be sure you buy everything before you arrive.
     
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  8. nkcrouch

    nkcrouch Member

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    So we have decided to book at Fort Boonesborough. If it had just been DH and myself, we would have booked in one of the Natural Bridge/ Red River Gorge campgrounds. We hope to make it over that way for some hiking, but we figured for 7 nights we needed a place where the kids had easy access to a playground. We have found over the years that a playground keeps things quieter at the campsite. We booked a site where we should be able to see the playground. The kids nixed Big Bone Lick when they found out the lake was being drained. They are big fishermen. imagine the weekend may get a bit raucous for our liking, but at least we will be fairly close to the things we would like to see in that part of the state. I appreciate everyone's input!!
     
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