Laurel River Lake

Nashville District
Published Jan. 10, 2024
Laurel River Lake

Laurel River Lake


Camping & Group Picnic Shelters

Registration Center hours are:

Mon. & Thurs. 11 am to 5 pm

Tues. & Wed. CLOSED

Fri. & Sat. 10 am to 7 pm

Sun. 12 noon to 6 pm

*If the Registration Center is closed when you arrive please select a non-reserved site and return to register for your stay during the hours listed above.

Grove Drive-In Campground is one of two large class A campgrounds operated by the USDA Forest Service.  All walk-in sites and non-reserved site are on a first-come first-served basis. Campsites may be reserved from Memorial Day through Labor Day weekends.

Holly Bay Campground is one of two large class A campgrounds operated by the USDA Forest Service. The campground offers 75 RV sites that may be reserved.

The Corps of Engineers manages a day use area on Laurel River.  There are two shelters that can be reserved (for a fee) up to 365 days in advance, and 19 first-come, first-serve picnic areas.  Reservations may be made through the National Recreation Reservation Service (NRRS).  When a shelter is not reserved, it is available on a first-come, first-served basis.  Shelters are available for reservation from April until October. To reserve a shelter, contact the National Recreation Reservation Service at 1-877-444-6777.


Laurel River Lake provides boaters with a wide variety of opportunities to enjoy their respective recreational interests.  Fishing, pleasure boats, and personal watercraft all share the waters, so each boater has a responsibility to respect other boaters and practice good boating ethics and launching etiquette.  There are two commercial marinas situated on the lake, providing easy access and supplies for boaters. The Corps of Engineers encourages visitors to wear life jackets, pay close attention at all times, abstain from drinking alcoholic beverages, and become familiar with the rules of the water and basic boating regulations. You may contact the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources concerning boating regulations and boating safety information.

Fishing & Hunting

The lake provides excellent fishing for black bass (largemouth, smallmouth, and Kentucky), rainbow trout, walleye, bluegill, and catfish.  Night fishing for trout is popular during the summer.  Fishing licenses can be purchased at the county clerk’s office, marinas, and many local stores.

Hunting is not permitted on Corps property at Laurel River Lake.  The surrounding Forest Service property does, however, allow hunting.  Kentucky requires a license to hunt game.  Special permits are required for hunting certain game such as deer and waterfowl. Check state laws for complete information. Licenses may be purchased at County Clerk's offices, marinas and many other commercial establishments.

Scuba & Swimming

Scuba diving is allowed at Laurel River Lake. Divers must display a "Diver Down" flag in the area where they are diving. Boaters should be alert to the "Diver Down" flag and keep a safe distance away. 

Swimming on Laurel River Lake is one of the more popular water-based activities.  Swimming is prohibited at launching ramps, mooring points, marinas, public docks, and posted areas. It is allowed elsewhere, but for safety's sake please swim only in specifically designated areas.  The Spillway Beach is much safer as it is off-limits to boats of all kinds.  “Restricted area” buoys and a floating yellow pipeline surround the beach.


Laurel Loop Trail is a 1 1/4 mile strenuous hiking trail located before the uncontrolled spillway and Laurel tail waters.  This trail loops from a heavily forested natural area which include many prime examples of local floral and fauna.  The trail includes several natural and developed overlooks for excellent views of the spillway inflow and tail waters area.  The steep natural terrain limits the accessibility.

Shallowtrace National Recreation Trail is located within the Daniel Boone National Forest and features 94 miles of breathtaking views. 


1433 laurel Lake Rd. London, Ky 40744
Monday-Friday 8:00 AM -4:30 PM