Being labeled the Houseboating Capital of the world tells you a lot about Kentucky. The idea of the houseboat actually originates in Kentucky, where the first ones were built in 1953. This is a place of abundant water, luxurious summers, rolling green hills and lush hardwood forests. The people here value family time, summer work vacations, cooking your grandparent’s recipes and inviting all your friends to join in the fun.
With 52,000 acres of water Lake Cumberland State Park Resort, by Somerset Kentucky, is in the center of the boating world. And instead of making this place expensive, exclusive, or feeling out-of-reach, Lake Cumberland continues to be one of the best places in the country to take the whole family camping and get out on the water. Whether you’re coming for water skiing, jet skis, and houseboats, or simply swimming from the shore or poking around on a paddle board, everyone is welcome here.
The State Park is open year round and incorporates rental cottages, hotel rooms, and an upscale restaurant with traditional tent and RV camping in a 123 site campground. The State Dock rents every water toy you could want, and is an ideal launching point for fishing, kayaks, jet skis, and wake boats.
Lake Cumberland is also a beautiful place to visit in the off season. When the trees shed their leaves, it opens up incredible views of the lake for hikers and boaters. It is often dry and warm enough to enjoy camping here well before the summer season starts to get busy.
RV Rentals in Lake Cumberland State Park
Transportation in Lake Cumberland State Park
Visitors have noted that the campsites can be challenging to level big rigs and trailers in. The heavy tree cover in the summer can also be an issue for satellite dishes and solar panels. Each campground area ends in a convenient loop, and though the park roads are a bit narrow and winding, RVers feel welcome here.
Campgrounds and parking in Lake Cumberland State Park
Campsites in Lake Cumberland State Park
Russell Springs KOA
Enjoy this award-winning campground near Lake Cumberland and Cumberland Falls, the “Niagara of the South," the Russell Springs KOA. The campground is located less than a mile from the lakeshore, boat ramp, boat rentals and fishing. Be sure to visit Mammoth Cave National Park. There’s plenty to do at the campground itself, including a recreational hall with video games, picnic tables, a swimming pool and a playground. The campground provides concerts and movie nights at the amphitheater, sports and recreation facilities, miniature golf, a camp store, a pet walk and additional planned activities.
Lake Cumberland SP Campground
The Lake Cumberland State Park Campground offers 123 campsites with power and water for RVrs at 91 of the sites. There is room for all size rigs with parking pads up to 55ft. There are full restrooms, coin showers, picnic tables, BBQs and fire rings at each site. The campground is close to horseback riding, hiking trails, miniature golf, and a disc golf course. The park is extremely popular during summer holiday weekends and is nearly empty in the off-season.
Seasonal activities in Lake Cumberland State Park
Water Toy Rentals
The State Dock and other nearby marinas offer about every toy that floats. Lake Cumberland has wide open sections of water for loud fun with wake boats, water skis and jet skis. But there are also hidden coves and narrow lake fingers to provide fishing holes and quiet explorations for pontoon boats, kayaks, and paddleboards. The Park rents all of this equipment and more. Be sure to make reservations for their very popular houseboats and wake boats in advance.
This is the place to party if you’re looking for a gathering on the water. The Lake Cumberland Raft Up happens in August. This gathering entered the 2010 Guinness Book of World Records for the most boats tied together (1,500 boats). A large floating stage hosts live music each year to an audience of thousands of people floating in the lake. Get a commemorative T-shirt and epic tan lines.
The State Park provides guided horseback rides which depart every hour Memorial Day through Labor Day. The ride is an easy one and a half miles that stays high on the bluff with views down across the lake. This is an easy and affordable way to introduce the kids to riding. Personal horses are not allowed in the park, so this feels like a special treat.
Three Kinds of Golf
Within Lake Cumberland State Park there is an 18-hole miniature golf course and a 15-hole disc golf course with affordable prices and rental equipment on site during the summer season. There are also several typical public golf courses around the area, and many of them offer a family friendly, and good-fun atmosphere.
With the best lake fishing in Kentucky all year round, Lake Cumberland has the sort of variety that will reveal new adventures each time you visit. The lake is famous for Crappie, Bream, Walleye, Trout, and Catfish, and five species of bass. The State Dock is a perfect launching point for either a rental boat or your own fish-machine.
Lake Bluff Nature Loop hiking trail – Hemlock, Beech, and Hickory trees line the four mile trail which follows along miles of high ridge and opens for many viewpoints of the lake and the marinas below. After the leaves drop there are even better views, and this trail is still popular in the winter and spring with a good pair of boots.