Featuring an abundance of recreational activities and some superb camping facilities, Carr Creek Lake should be near the top of the list for your next RV vacation. Located around fifteen miles southeast of Hazard, Carr Creek Lake is a tributary of the North Fork of the Kentucky River and is around nine miles below Carr Creek Dam.
The area in and around Carr Creek was originally a hunting ground for the Cherokee and Shawnee Native Americans before becoming home to some of the area's earliest pioneer settlements. Thought to have arrived as early as the 1770s, explorers found large coal deposits, which would play a significant role in the area eventually being properly settled in 1815. Timber was another vital resource for the economy of the area thanks to the large trees that were in abundance.
The lake was created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1976 and is 130 feet tall, 720 feet wide and covers 710 acres. On the shores of the lake, you will find some great recreational activities and amenities in Carr Creek State Park, including Kentucky’s longest swimming beach, a marina, picnic shelters, hiking trails, and ranger-led programs and activities.
RV lovers will be very comfortable during their visit to Carr Creek Lake thanks to the two campground choices that you have. The campground at Carr Creek State Park has a total of 39 sites, and each is equipped with standard water and electric hookups and access to the lake. Another option is to stay at the Littcarr Campground that is run by COE and is located on Highway 160. Carr Creek Lake is open all year round and the peak season is during the summer months.
Getting to and from Carr Creek Lake is relatively easy thanks to its location right next to KY-15. The park feels like it is in the middle of nowhere, however, it is close to a few small towns that will have most of the supplies or amenities that you will need to enjoy your stay. These include Sassafras (around four miles away), Scuddy (around five and a half miles away), and Hazard (around 16 miles away). The closest city to Carr Creek Lake is Kingsport, which is located 94 miles to the south.
Accessing Carr Creek Lake is very straightforward as there is only one entrance and exit to the park. You can find the entrance off KY-15 on the southern side of the lake. Most of the year the campground will be easy to get into, however, if it does rain the campground does become quite muddy and it can be difficult to navigate. If you are worried about the weather we recommend that you check the forecast before beginning your journey to the lake.
There are plenty of parking areas available for visitors to Carr Creek Lake.
Unfortunately there are no public transportation options that will take you to and from Carr Creek Lake.
The closest campground for visitors to stay at during their visit to the lake is Carr Creek State Park Campground. The campground is located right on the banks of the lake and contains 39 RV friendly sites that can contain rigs up to 60-feet in length.
All of the sites at Carr Creek State Park Campground are equipped with electrical and water hookups so you will be able to live with a little luxury during your stay. On each site, you will also find a picnic table, firepit, and a grill. There are also some great campground wide amenities, including water collection points, a bathhouse with hot showers and a laundry facility. Guests are welcome to bring their pets, but remember to keep them on a leash at all times.
Reservations are available in advance to those wanting to stay at Carr Creek State Park Campground and we recommend that you book one in order to guarantee that you will have a place to stay during your visit to the lake. Carr Creek State Park Campground is open from mid-March until Mid November.
Operated by The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Littcarr Campground is located to the eastern side of Carr Creek Lake and is around four miles from Carr Creek State Park. This campground is a great choice for travelers wanting to be a little further away from the main area of the lake and who want a few more luxuries.
There are a total of 45 campsites that are RV friendly and all of the sites have water and electric hookups. 14 out of the 45 campsites are also equipped for sewer hookups and can be rented for a small fee increase. Other great amenities within the Littcarr Campground include water collection points, ice, firewood, showers, restrooms, coin-operated washers and dryers, soft drink machines, a playground, and a pay telephone. Pets are also allowed and you should be able to get cell phone reception on most of the major networks.
Littcarr Campground operates on a reservation system and can be made by calling the park or by booking online.
Carr Creek Lake is a fantastic place to kick back, relax and hang out thanks to it being home to the largest sandy beach in all of Kentucky. There is plenty of room on the beach for you to stretch out. There's even enough room to go for a short beach walk. The water in the lake is cool, refreshing and perfect for cooling off in, so jump in and splash about until your heart's content!
If you are thinking about getting out on the waters of Carr Creek Lake you will be pleased to note that the lake is perfect for boating. There are no restrictions on what type of watercraft are allowed on the lake and some of the more popular ones include canoes, paddleboats, and motorboats. If you are wanting to go boating but don't have a boat, you are in luck! Along the banks of the lake is a full-service marina that offers boat rentals, as well as fishing and boating supplies.
Carr Creek Lake is a wonderful place for you and your friends or family to have a large picnic thanks to the eight picnic shelters that are open from April through to September. All of the shelters can accommodate up to 200 people and feature some great amenities, including electricity access, grills, picnic tables, and lighting. If you do want to use one of the shelters you should reserve one in preparation for your arrival to the lake.
No matter what time of year you visit Carr Creek Lake there will be some great opportunities for you to cast a line and try to catch the big one. Lovely petite Carr Creek State Park offers an ideal place for fishermen. The lake has miles of shoreline that you can fish from, or you can get in a boat and head to some harder to reach spots. The lake has a wide variety of fish that call it home, including largemouth bass, crappie, walleye, trout, and threadfin shad. If you don't have your own fishing equipment (or if you forgot bait) you can purchase supplies from the marina.
Love to hike? If so, remember to pack your hiking shoes because there are some great trails that are waiting for you to explore. The most popular trail to take on is the Sugar Branch Trail. Consisting of around a 10-mile round trip, the Sugar Branch Trail is suitable for moderately experienced hikers. The trail begins behind the restrooms at the Carr Creek Dam Spillway and is clearly marked and easily identified by signage and a wooden handrail leads up the hillside. On the trail, you will get the chance to view some of the local wildlife, mature woods and also see occasional glimpses of Carr Lake.
If you are thinking about going hunting during your visit to Carr Creek Lake you can do so within the Carr Creek Lake Wildlife Management Area that exists around the lake. Archery, non-commercial trapping, and black powder hunting are some of the popular options for visitors to the park. Common animals that can be hunted include rabbit, squirrel, turkey, and deer. For more information on hunting within Carr Creek Lake, we recommend that you contact the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife for seasons, regulations and license requirements.