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Paintsville Lake

Huntington District
Published Jan. 5, 2024
Paintsville Lake

Paintsville Lake

Reservations, Fees & Passes

Camping is only available at the Paintsville Lake State Park Campground located near the marina. For reservations visit Paintsville Lake State Park

Campground Fee:
$40 per shelter

Day Use Fee:
$100 per day (*Rates may vary across dates)
Picnic shelters are located at the Paintsville Lake State Park. Call 606-297-8486 for reservations. Reservations are not required for 'first come, first serve'.


Paintsville Lake is a total of 1,139 surface acres. The US Army Corps of Engineers owns a total of 13,156 acres of land surrounding the lake with 57 miles of shoreline. The lake is approximately 18 miles in length.  Paintsville Lake gleams like a jewel in the crown of the mountains of Eastern Kentucky. With steep cliffs and wooded coves along the shoreline.  The lake provides 1,140 acres of boating, skiing and fishing pleasure. After a day on the lake, relax in the campground. For a glimpse into a vanished way of life, visit the Mountain Homeplace. This living history farm recreates Appalachian farm life in the mid-1800s.

Restrooms are located at the Project Office, the Downstream Area, the Emergency Spillway and the Marina.  The Mountain Homeplace Historical Area is located on-site across the Dam.

Mountain Homeplace Historical Area
The Paintsville Tourism Commission, in cooperation with the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, has developed a 19th Century Mountain Homeplace Historical Area at Paintsville Dam. The Historical Homeplace depicts, through a living history, mountain life of Eastern Kentuckians from the time period of 1850-1900. 

Universally Accessible
Universally accessible facilities are provided at the Project Office, the marina restrooms and a handicapped fishing pier. There is a universally accessible fishermen's walkway along the trout stream below the dam.


Recreation Opportunities

Visitor Center
The US Army Corps of Engineers Office/Visitor Center is located on the top of the hill after crossing the dam. We have a variety of Brochures and Maps, including information on surrounding recreational areas, as well as many Displays of Wildlife Mounts. Restrooms are also available.  You can contact the Office/Visitor Center at 606-297-6312 for any additional information. Office Hours are Monday thru Friday, 7:30 am to 4:00 pm.  For Recorded Lake Information, please call 606-297-4111.

Boating
Launch ramps for the boating enthusiasts and fishermen are located at the Rocky Knob Recreation Area, 1 mile from the dam, and Open Fork Boat Ramp, 16 miles west, off Route 172.  The Lost Creek and Big Mine Fork boat ramps are accessible from Route 1260 or Route 1437. There is no size limit on boats and motors. Boaters must obey all regulations and maintain responsible control of their craft at all times. Boaters are responsible for any damage caused by the wake (or waves) caused by their boat.

Camping
Camping is only available at the Paintsville Lake State Park Campground located near the marina. There are 32 state-of-the-art modern campsites with 50 amp electricity, water and sewer hookups.  10 additional primitive sites have water and a wash house nearby with showers and laundry facilities.

Day-use
Picnic shelters are located at the Paintsville Lake State Park. Call 606-297-8486 for reservations. Reservations are not required for 'first come, first serve'.

Fishing
Fish and Wildlife Management is the responsibility of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife. Fishing is allowed from boats and the shoreline at Paintsville Lake.  Largemouth Bass, Trout, Smallmouth Bass, Channel Catfish, Walleye and Redbreast Sunfish have been stocked in the lake. Paint Creek below the dam is stocked monthly, April - November with Rainbow Trout. The Lake itself is stocked annually with Rainbow Trout. Kentucky fishing licenses are required.  For more information on lake and fishing conditions, you can call our Recorded Lake Information number at 606-297-4111. This recording is updated daily.

Hunting
Hunting is allowed in accordance with state hunting regulations on about 90% of the project.  Deer, turkey, and squirrel are abundant.  Rabbit, grouse and quail hunting is fair.

Marinas
There is a privately owned marina open to the public 1 mile from the dam at the Paintsville Lake State Park. Pontoon boat rentals, fishing boats, paddleboats and houseboat rentals, restrooms, and restaurant are available. Call 606-297-5253 (297-LAKE).

Swimming
No developed swimming facilities currently exist. SWIM AT YOUR OWN RISK! Swimmers should be alert to the potential underwater hazards along a lake's shoreline, i.e., large rocks, tree branches, other natural debris and sudden depressions or shallow holes in the floor of the lake. Swimming is prohibited at the dam and within 100 feet of the intake structure (the concrete tower near the dam). Swimming is also prohibited at boat launching ramps. Cliff diving and jumping from cliffs at Paintsville Lake is prohibited.

Trails
Horseback riding is available at Paintsville Lake, but you must provide your own horse. Those who own horses may ride them on the project's forest fire access roads, but not in developed recreation areas. Groups of 10 people or more must obtain a free permit from the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources before arrival.

The Kiwanis Trail head is located across from the Mountain Homeplace Welcome Center. It is a 1.6 mile Scenic Walking Trail. This trail is for foot traffic only. An orienteering course and the Adena Trail, a 7-mile long hiking trail developed by the Boy Scouts, is also available near the dam.

Bicycles are permitted on roadways. Bicycles are not permitted on the Kiwanis Trail.


Reservations, Fees & Passes

Camping is only available at the Paintsville Lake State Park Campground located near the marina. For reservations visit Paintsville Lake State Park

Campground Fee:
$40 per shelter

Day Use Fee:
$100 per day (*Rates may vary across dates)
Picnic shelters are located at the Paintsville Lake State Park. Call 606-297-8486 for reservations. Reservations are not required for 'first come, first serve'.

Mountain Homeplace Historical Area
The Paintsville Tourism Commission, in cooperation with the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, has developed a 19th Century Mountain Homeplace Historical Area at Paintsville Dam. The Historical Homeplace depicts, through a living history, mountain life of Eastern Kentuckians from the time period of 1850-1900. 

Universally Accessible
Universally accessible facilities are provided at the Project Office, the marina restrooms and a handicapped fishing pier. There is a universally accessible fishermen's walkway along the trout stream below the dam.


Rules & Regulations

General Policies
A full list of Federal regulations that apply to all US Army Corps of Engineers properties can be found in Title 36 of the United States Code (USC). Title 36, The Rules and Regulations that Govern Corps of Engineers Water Resource Projects

Firearms
Possession of firearms in a federal facility, including locks, dams, power plants, ranger stations, buildings, switchyards, recreation facilities, warehouses, and offices is strictly prohibited. This prohibition includes the storage or transporting of a personally owned firearm in controlled access parking areas or Government vehicles, heavy equipment, boats and vessels under the operational control of the District regardless of its location. Exceptions for Federal employees are only allowed for Federal law enforcement officers or where possession of a firearm is specifically authorized by law.

Fireworks
Fireworks, along with explosives, firearms and other weapons are prohibited on Government Property. Detailed information can be found in Title 36, The Rules and Regulations that Govern Corps of Engineers Water Resource Projects, Section 327.13.


Contact
Paintsville Lake
807 Kentucky Route 2275
Staffordshire, KY 41256

606-297-6312 or 297-6323

 


  • January

    2024 Campsite Reservation Information

    Campers may now make their reservations 180 days in advance and picnic shelter reservations 360 days
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