Grayson Lake

Huntington District
Published Jan. 5, 2024
Grayson Lake

View of lake and dam

Reservations, Fees & Passes

Camping Facilities are available and maintained by the Grayson Lake State Park.  For reservations visit  Grayson Lake State Park  

Campground Fee:
$28 Sun-Thur / $32 Fri-Sat / $35 Holiday

Day Use Fee:
$75 for group shelter with electric
There are four group picnic shelters with water and 15-amp electrical hookups

Narrow and winding, the lake's scenic cliffs range from 30 to 200 feet high above the lake surface.  The magnificently sculptured cliffs have a smooth, contoured surface enhanced by centuries of weathering. Located just seven miles south of Grayson, Kentucky on State Route 7, this Corps project encompasses 17,085 acres.  The impounded waters of the Little Sandy River form the 1,510 acre, 20-mile long Grayson Lake.

Recreation Opportunities

Visitor Center
Information Center at the Damsite Recreation Area.  They may be contracted at (606) 474-5815 or 5107 for information on water safety & shelter reservations or for tours of the Environmental Nature Study Field, Nature Trail, and Intake Structure.  For information on lake conditions and scheduled fish stocking you may call (606) 474-7476, 24 hours

For boaters there are 4 launch ramps available, the Corps managed launch ramp is convienantly located at the dam site near the marina, the other locations are at Clifty Creek, Bruin (near Grayson State Park) and Caney.  For boating regulations & safety tips please visit website:

Camping Facilities are available and maintained by the Grayson Lake State Park.  More information concerning camping facilities please visit website: Grayson Lake State Park

Picnic Shelter #1 - Located across from Visitor Center, seats approximately 50 and parks approximately 25. Vault restroom facilities are located at the shelter and are universally accessible.
Picnic Shelter #2 - Located above marina parking lot, seats approximately 60 and parks approximately 15. Additional Parking may be available in Marina parking lot. Restroom is located approximately 50 yards from shelter and is NOT ADA accessible. 
Picnic Shelter #3 - Located at the end of Launch Ramp Rd, seats approximately 80 and parks approximately 40. The vault restrooms are located between the shelter and parking lot and are ADA accessible. 
Picnic Shelter #4 - Located below the dam in the downstream area on Lower Access Rd, seats approximately 125 and parks approximately 35. Restroom facilities are located 40 yards across from shelter and are ADA accessible. 

All shelters have large group grills, water, electrical outlet for small appliances only, additional picnic table on the grounds near the shelter, but they are open to public.  
Reservations must be made 3 days in advance* This is a Day-Use Facility only. Camping is not allowed in this area. Pets must be on a leash at all times. Reserving a shelter does not reserve adjacent parking, playground or open space. The day use area opens at 6 a.m. and closes at 10 p.m. For more information, please call the Grayson Lake project Office at 606-474-5107. 

Fishing is extremely popular during the summers months. Most sought after are bass, crappie, catfish, bluegill. Trout are stocked in the downsteam area. For trout stocking schedules please go to: Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources. For fly fishing, Laural Creek which feeds into Grayson Lake, is very suitable. For Fishing regulation please visit website: Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources

Hunting is popular and often productive on Grayson Lake WMA due in a large part to the effective restoration and habitat management practices.  Deer, turkey, and squirrels (both gray and fox) are abundant throughout the WMA and are the most frequently pursued game species.  Dove management units are located in the Frazier Flats and Clifty Creek areas, and shooting is typically good on opening day. Grouse hunting is fair on sideslopes and benches which have grown into second-growth forest (former pasture land).  Most waterfowl hunting occurs on Rosedale Point, or in the shallow, upper portions of various embayments.  Grayson Lake hosts a resident flock of approximately 150 - 200 geese, and relatively low numbers of wintering/migratory ducks.  The Deer Creek Branch of Grayson Lake, and Grayson Lake within 3/4 mile of the Dam is closed to waterfowl hunting.  Quail and rabbits tend to be very local and affiliated with the scattered open land areas.  Some woodcock are found in brushy woods located in bottoms and nearby openings.  Raccoons, bobcats and other furbearers are fairly abundant and my be hunted.  Trapping requires advance permission from the Grayson Lake WMA Area Manager or Biologist.  
Be sure to consult a current copy of the Kentucky Hunting and Trapping Guide, and refer especially to the section pertaining to Grayson Lake WMA.  Hunters should note that Corps of Engineers managed land, Camp Webb, and the Grayson Lake State Park lie adjacent to portions of the WMA.  These lands are closed to all hunting except for some designated special seasons which always require advance application. 

Operated by a private concessionaire, located at the Grayson Lake Dam site.  Boat Rental information available at Marina and Corps of Engineers information center at the Damsite Recreation Area or by calling the marina at 606-474-4513.

The swim beach at Bruin, which is operated by the Kentucky Department of State Parks, is CLOSED until further notice.  Swimming is not permitted at the Bruin beach or from any state park land.  However swimming is allowed on the rest of the lake, except boat ramps and areas with posted restrictions.  Also, cliff jumping/diving is not permitted on Grayson Lake.

Grayson Lake WMA provides excellent opportunity for Horseback riding.  Horseback riding is permitted on approximately nine miles of designated trail which traverses the WMA on the scenic eastern side of the lake.  Horseback riding is not permitted off these trails which are shown on the map and marked by signs in the field.  All persons using Grayson Lake WMA should note that the entire area is open to hunting during designated seasons.  For this reason, all persons afield for non-hunting purposes from mid-August (beginning of squirrel season) through February, as well as spring turkey season held in April and early May are advised to wear blaze orange. During the youth quota deer hunt (typically the first weekend in November), the WMA is closed to all other hunting and uses including hiking and horseback riding. For information please contact Grayson Lake WMA Office at (606) 474-8535. 

The Api-su-ahts hiking trail features four loops totaling over 22 miles.  It winds through creek bottoms, hollows and ridgetops in the more secluded region of the WMA east of Grayson Lake. Wildlife is abundant and many ridgetops provide attractive overlooks.  "Api-su-ahts" is a Shawnee phrase meaning "early riser" or "morning star".  The Shawnee were a tribe of native Americans who viewed the eastern Kentucky forests as particularly productive hunting grounds.  The trail head for loops one and two is located at Deer Creek, and at Frazier Flats for loops two and three.  The trail is marked with white paint on trees, and by signage at the trailheads and periodically along the trail.  Mileage and difficulty rating (easy 1-2-3-4-5 hard) of each loop follows:  
Loop 1:  2.9 Miles (Rated 2)
Loop 2;  7.8 miles (Rated 4)
Loop 3:  5.9 miles (Rated 3)
Loop 4:  6.5 miles (Rated 3-4)

Laurel Creek is a major part of the Little Sandy Watershed which feeds Grayson Lake.  The creek, through time, has carved its way through the sandstone and formed a gorge with cliffs as high as 300 feet.  Laurel Gorge is on a section of old KY7/KY32 near Laurel Cliffs and Curves.  The Laurel Gorge Welcome Center also marks the head of the Laurel Gorge Trail, for which volunteers have worked since 2002 and developed public and handicapped access to trails.  
Laurel Gorge Welcome Center, P.O. Box 653, Sandy Hook, KY  31171
Phone (606) 738-5553 

Bicycles are permitted on the main roads and campground areas in the Grayson Lake State Park.  For information call Phone number 606-474-6856.

Grayson Lake
50 Launch Ramp Road 
Grayson, KY 41143

606-474-5107 or 606-474-5815

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

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, 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.