Nolin River Lake


Louisville District
Published Jan. 10, 2024

Welcome to Nolin River Lake!

2150 Nolin Dam Road
Mammoth Cave, KY 42259
Phone: (270) 286-4511                                           

Office Hours:  M-Th, 6:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Friday 6:30 - 3 p.m.  (Central Time)  (may vary, please call ahead)


Nolin has five U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operated boat ramps.  The Arnold Van Meter aka Site One, located at the dam; Moutardier; and Wax boat ramps are open year-round.  The Iberia and Dog Creek boat ramps are open from April 1 until October 31.  In case of extreme variations in the level of the lake, the ramps are subject to closure.

There is a $5 boat launching fee at all Corps operated ramps, payable by credit card.  A temporary $40 Annual pass can also be purchased at the ramp and you will receive a temporary receipt that must be exchanged for a hang tag.

Other ways to purchase:

  1. Over the phone with a credit card.
  2. A check can be mailed to our Office.
  3. In person, at the Nolin Lake office, during regular business hours. (We do recommend calling ahead.)

America the Beautiful passes can be purchased at or in person at the Nolin Lake Office (Please call ahead.)

*Nolin Lake State Park also operates a boat ramp.  There is no fee charged at state operated boat ramps.


In the gentle slopes of South Central Kentucky, the campgrounds on Nolin River Lake have great appeal to the naturalist or those who just want to get away from it all.  The three Corps of Engineers operated campgrounds are Dog Creek, Moutardier and Wax.

Reservations for all Corps operated sites are handled through the National Recreation Reservation Service (NRRS) at their website or by calling them toll free at 1-877-444-6777.  You can make reservations for single campsites 6 months in advance of the arrival date.

DOG CREEK CAMPGROUND, located in Hart County, offers 70 campsites, 50 with electric and water hookup. Two sites have been adapted for disabled persons. The entire campground has easy access to the shoreline.  There is a swimming area located within the campground available to registered campers only and a boat launching ramp and playground adjacent to the campground.  Other amenities include showers, a dump station, group picnic shelter, pit restrooms, and watchable wildlife area.  This campground is open from early May through late September with attendants on duty.  The camping fees range from $15.00 - $25.00 per night.  For more information and to make online reservations at the Dog Creek Campground, please use the following link:

MOUTARDIER CAMPGROUND, located in Edmonson County, offers 167 sites, 81 with electric and water hookup.  Two sites have been adapted for disabled persons.  Most of the areas in the campground are rolling hillsides with gentle access to the shoreline.   Some shoreline areas are steep with riprap erosion protection.  There is a boat ramp, playground, and group picnic shelter adjacent to the campground.  Other amenities include showers, a dump station, flush facilities, playgrounds within the campground, public marina, and hiking trails.  This campground is open from mid-April through late October with attendants on duty.  The camping fees range from $15.00 - $25.00 per night. For more information and to make online reservations at the Moutardier Campground, please use the following link:

WAX CAMPGROUND, located in Grayson County, offers 110 sites, 86 with electric and water hookup.  Two sites have been adapted for disabled persons.  The campground had gentle slopes, with a sloping incline access to the shoreline.  There is a boat ramp, group picnic shelter, and playground adjacent to the campground.  Other amenities include showers, a dump station, flush facilities, playground within the campground, and public marina.  This campground is open from early May through late September with attendants on duty.  The camping fees range from $15.00 - $25.00 per night. For more information and to make online reservations at the Wax Campground, please use the following link:


1. Camping is permitted at designated camping areas with not more than six (6) people or the members of one family unit at any one site.  A family unit is considered to be parent(s) and unmarried children living in the same household.  All vehicles must be registered at the tollhouse.  Vehicles and personal property are to be placed only on the site(s) rented by you, not on adjoining sites.  Loaded boat trailers may be parked at nearby parking areas.

2. Campers must register at the campground entrance station as soon as possible after arrival.

3. Campers will display the user permit on the site identification post and return it to the tollhouse when departing.  Checkout time is 4:30 p.m. on the day the permit expires.

4. All visitors will check in at the tollhouse and will be charged a visitor’s fee.  Visitors must leave by  9:30 p.m.

5. Gear, equipment, trash, and debris shall be completely removed from the area upon departure.

6. Quiet hours are 10:00 p.m. – 6:00 a.m.  The operation or use of any noise-producing devices that unreasonably annoy others at any time is prohibited.  The use of properly muffled generators is permitted between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.  Individuals who are boisterous, rowdy, disorderly, or otherwise disturb the peace at any time may be requested to leave the campground and forfeit all camping fees paid.

7. Vehicles, tents, trailers, or other equipment will not be placed on grass at sites with a defined border.  Vehicles must be parked within the railroad timbers or ties surrounding each campsite and not on or over the ties.  Empty boat trailers may be placed on the grass. 

8. Fires may be built only in fireplaces or grills.  A responsible person must attend to all fires.  Hang lanterns on metal holders provided at campsites.  No burning of treated lumber or wood containing metal is allowed.

9. Any loaded projectile fire device, ammunition, and explosives of any kind are prohibited in the area except when in the possession of a Government employee or law enforcement officer on official duty.  The possession or use of fireworks is prohibited.

10. Pets shall be kept on a leash not over 6 feet long or under physical control at all times.  Pets shall not be left unattended.

11. The destruction, injury, defacement, removal, or alternation of Government property, vegetation, rocks, or minerals is prohibited.

12. Motor driven vehicles, including mopeds, must conform to state licensing laws and their use will be confined to developed roadways by a licensed operator (16 years or older).  Constant circling or “joy riding” is not permitted.  The speed limit in the campground is 15 M.P.H. and all directional arrows must be observed.  Motorized or battery-operated toys are not allowed on roadways or sidewalks.

13. No bicycles, skateboards, mopeds, or similar equipment are allowed on the sidewalks or steps around showerhouse facilities or other walkways.  No bicycles, skateboards, or other similar equipment may be operated after dark.


Central garbage bins will be used for campsite garbage disposal at Dog Creek, Moutardier, and Wax Campgrounds at Nolin River Lake. The following regulations apply:
  1. Each campsite must be maintained in a clean, un-littered condition.  All garbage must be kept in bags and transported to the collection bin when checking out.  DO NOT LEAVE BAGS ON THE SITE.
  2. A separate portion of the collection bin is provided for recycling.  Campers are encouraged to separate aluminum cans and use this portion.
  3. Each campsite is the responsibility of the individual registered at the tollhouse.
  4. Failure to comply with these regulations may result in a federal citation.


Nolin fishing includes Bass, Bluegill, Catfish, Crappie, Trout, and Walleye.

Special Fishing Regulations apply to Nolin River Lake. Click here for those Regs:

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife regularly stocks the Tailwater at Nolin. Click on the link for the schedule:

Picnicking and Shelter Rental

Warm weather, sunny skies and a nice breeze blowing - what better weather for a picnic. So, if looking to get out to Nolin River Lake for either a small outing or hoping to find the perfect spot for a family reunion, look no further.

Four group picnic shelters are available for day-use*. Shelters are equipped with lighting and electrical outlets, charcoal grills, water fountains and trash cans. Restrooms facilities are located in each area. Reservations can be made through the recreation. gov web page or by calling (877) 444-6777.

The shelters available and the use fees are as follows:

Dog Creek     $50.00
Moutardier   $50.00
Wax                $50.00
Tailwater       $65.00

*Organized sporting events, weddings, fund-raisers and activities with special requirements require a special event permit. Contact the park manager (270) 286-4511 30 days prior to the scheduled event to obtain a permit.

In addition to the shelters listed above, there are several individual picnic sites located at Tailwater, Wax, and Moutardier recreation areas that are available free of charge, on a first-come, first served basis. 


The Iberia recreation area provides a public access beach and includes a small shelter for shading.  Swimming in Nolin Lake is permitted except as indicated by posted signs.


The Nolin Lake State Park offers a dynamic biking trail, featuring the Waterfall Loop (1.9 miles) and the Omega Loop (2.2 miles).  KYMBA (Kentucky Mountain Biking Association, Kentucky State Parks and the USACE (US Army Corps of Engineers) partnered to design and construct the Brier Creek Trail System.  Work was completed in 2014 to expand the trail to 9.5 miles, including the Campground Connector, a ½ mile “Beginner” trail.  For more information visit the KYMBA site: 

For park information, please visit the Nolin Lake State Park webpage:


*Campground Host
*Event Participation
*Trail Construction and Restoration
*Vegetation Identification and Cataloging

If you would like an opportunity to volunteer at Nolin River Lake, please e-mail

Friends of Nolin Lake

KYMBA (Kentucky Mountain Biking Association)

Upcoming Events

2024 recreation events coming soon