KY - Carter Caves Campground - Olive Hill, KY (Eastern KY)


Jul 4, 2008
Went on a quick 2 day camping trip with the kids and grandpa to Carter Caves State Park in Eastern KY. We were the only campers in the campground for the 2 days. Lots of nice hiking, did two cave tours that are offered. Only $15.00 per night - electric + water. Carter Caves Campground is now open year round. Water gets turned off December 1 in the campground. Several very nice large sites. I have a list of recommended #'s if anyone is interested. Would I go back? - yes - but there are too many other camping locations I need to go to first. Cave tour guide Kenny was really nice and excellent guide Caves tours offered 363 days per year.


New Member
Mar 6, 2010
Plan to head down to Carter Caves this spring for the first time. Any thoughts on a good site #? Shady, quiet, room for the little ones to run around and/or in sight of the playground. Appreciate it.


Apr 4, 2010
Just got back from Carter caves-We Love It There!-
For good sites, with little ones, I suggest 89 and 17. 89 is further from the main playground, but has a HUGE grassy area. 17 is very near the smaller playground, is VERY FLAT, and VERY close to the shower house. Both sites have good shade.
Firewood is available outside the park, about 1 mile, for a good price (30-35 pieces/$10).


New Member
Mar 6, 2010
Went to Carter Caves 2 weeks ago & had a great time. Stayed in 41, which was a good flat spot near the playground. You're right about 89, might try to get that next time.


Jun 27, 2013
I absolutely love this campground because you can walk to the caves. You are literally walking on a trail, and it goes through a cave. The sites aren't very level though, at least the ones that I've been on, however, they are very shady. I've been twice.


New Member
Apr 13, 2014
We just returned from a 5 day stay at this campground. First the negatives so I can finish on a positive note. ;) We camped in site #50. From the map in the reservation system it appeared it was on the outer edge of the campground and possibly backed up to the wood, which is true, but there was a road between our site and the woods. In the early spring the road wasn't too busy, but it leads to the lake and the pool, is I can imagine it would be heavily traveled. Our site was spacious, with trees, but terribly unlevel. We had to extend the BAL leveler all the way and still had some slant. The restrooms were a bit aged, but clean and the water was hot and pressured. We were one of only 3 PUPs there so we didn't have any trouble getting some shower time. It seems more often than not the fir pit placement wasn't very good in relation to the RV pad. This can be a plus for those that only use the fire to socialize.....I'm a campfire I was running back and forth a lot. Maybe that was my lack of preplanning too.....ha! It was very quiet, peaceful and lots to explore. We did the two cave tours that were available...take a light jacket. I would suggest site #8 also. Appeared level, open space, wooded for shade and not too far of a walk to the bath for the midnight potty break of children.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
1995 Coleman Stoney Creek
2001 Nissan Xterra
Rockin' Hubby
2 Munchkins disguised as girls


Active Member
Jan 21, 2014
I have been driving back and forth past there for the last four or five days....kept wondering what it was like!

Thanks for the review, and I have to commend you on your choice of popup :) We have the exact same one.


16 weekends a year camping just isn't enough.
Jun 8, 2008
We spent fall break at Carter Caves last October. We enjoyed the park. They do a haunted trail that is a huge event for the community. Those of our group that went on the trail said it was great. There are several nice parks with a short distance. We spent one day at Grayson lake as we plan on returning to kayak.


Jun 17, 2016
We had fun at this campground! I have to say I was taken aback at first by how close together the sites were, but:

1) We were near a curve in the road, so that was a factor.
2) Our other main camping experience is at Twin Knobs in the Daniel Boone National Forest (Cave Run), and those sites are HUGE.
3) Our neighbors to either side had McMansions on wheels, complete with slideouts and porticos and servants' quarters, etc.

And, anyhow, once we were set up we had more than enough room to get in and out which is about all we needed to do. Our site was a little hilly, and it was a challenge to get our pup leveled. I had to borrow a wheel chock from a neighbor. One other thing to consider - the electric hookup (for our spot, anyhow) was 240 only. Our pup is 120. Luckily the general store at the campground gate had adapters, very reasonably priced, and we were back in business. I should have had one already anyhow.

The cave tours are great, and as cave tours go not very strenuous. There's a nice playground area that the kids enjoyed, and lots of bikes all around. There's a nice looking pool a little farther up the hill* and a lodge and restaurant, but we only drove past those things. There's a mini-golf course that our kids really liked. All in all, there's a lot to do and it's all pretty centrally located.

* Oh, yes. The hill. Be aware that the last leg of the journey to the campground is somewhat steep. Now, my truck is a four-cylinder so your experience may differ, but I didn't make it out of second gear until the road leveled out at the summit. :) It made me wonder how the folks beside us do it, but they probably have V12s or something and spend more on gas than we spent on our camper.


Art & Joyce - Columbus, O
Jul 18, 2013
Thornville, OH
we camp there 4-5 years ago. We liked, nicw trails. The caves were closed at the time do to some mold that was killing the bats and they did not want humans bringing the mold into the caves, Soulds like that has changed.


Super Active Member
Jul 30, 2014
We camped at Carter Caves last weekend. I had been here a couple other times in my life (once as a kid and once as a teen), so I was eager to get back and take my son. Since it was early March, I figured Caves would be a good place to hang out in case it was too cold outside.

Since it was still winter, water was turned off at all of the sites and only the older bathhouse at the front of the campground was open. It was reasonably clean. I had to drive a few hundred yards up the road to the newer horse campground (~5 sites there) to get water from its freeze-proof spigots.

I was also surprised by how close most of the sites are to each other. The actual sites are nice with clean gravel inside timbers and pretty big. But those pads are almost touching. Since the place was empty, we had our choice of sites. I grabbed 55A because it didn’t have another site on the door side.

One thing to keep in mind here is that the electric and water hookups are all over the place with some right next to the pad and some 55+ feet away, so make sure you have extra cords and hoses. The electric on my site was right next to the pad, but all the way at the front, so I needed almost all of my 50’ of cord to reach my pup at the back of the pad. The descriptions on ReserveAmerica do seem to do a decent job at noting the distances to the hookups if they are far.

I know it doesn’t apply to most of us with pups, but they do have sewer hookups at several sites now. They are the ones that back up to the road coming in.

Site 55A

Example of large but close sites. Notice how close the timbers are to each other.

Beautiful creek with pullouts and picnic tables all along the road into the park.

Small boat ramp into the small lake. The road to it is narrow, windy, and steep. No gas boat motors allowed. Perfect for paddling.


Art & Joyce - Columbus, O
Jul 18, 2013
Thornville, OH
When we camped there a few years ago we liked it. But we were not paying any attention to where the elec and water was and we needed to use our extra 25 ft extension and 50 ft hose.

We have found most of the KY SP's the sites are close together. I think the CG footprint was set up when most people tent camp and there was not gravel rv pads.

Latest posts