Yatesville Lake State Park is a scenic lakeside facility located along the shores of Yatesville Lake in eastern Kentucky. The lake is open year-round for water recreation, but the campground operates on a seasonal schedule, usually opening sometime after the temperatures remain above freezing. Yatesville Lake is often referred to as one of the most popular lakes in the area.
Yatesville Lake is approximately 2,300 acres and was formed with the impoundment of Blaine Creek. The lake is popular with anglers because the clean and deep waters run nearly 40 feet deep in some areas. The water depths, the lake’s surface area, and the three lake islands make fishing for the bluegill, bass, and crappie both fun and fruitful. Aside from the water, the marina offers anglers and boaters plenty of resources for a successful day on the water.
The Yatesville Lake State Park recreation opportunities give visitors plenty of choices for outdoor adventure. The large facility has a golf course, many different hiking trails, and more than one camping area. Although RVers can only reserve and access the main campground, the park also has two primitive tent camping areas that are only reachable by foot or boat. If you like a little adventure, bring your boat and spend one of your nights sleeping under the stars in a remote location, and get to your secluded home for the night by boat. Whatever activities you decide on, Yatesville Lake State Park has enough recreation to keep you and your family entertained for days.
Yatesville Lake State Park is close to many major cities in both Kentucky as well as some neighboring states. The park is located 146 miles east of Lexington, Kentucky. Drivers who take the interstate should be prepared to travel on toll roads.
From Cincinnati, Ohio, the park is 168 miles southeast, and from Huntington, West Virginia, the park is only located 40 miles southwest.
RV campers should be aware that there are two entrances to the park. The marina and the campground areas are approximately 15 miles apart. To avoid the mistake of going to the wrong gate, ensure you enter the park near the camping entrance, which is located off of Kentucky Highway 3215, the park’s south entrance.
The Yatesville Lake Campground is a two-loop campground that is open seasonally. Both the Greenbriar and the Blaine Creek loops are part of the same campground. Each site has a gravel, back-in driveway, with the largest site accommodating RVs and trailers up to 35 feet in length. Every space has water and 15/30/50 amp electrical hookups as well as a picnic table and a fire pit. The campground is a pet-friendly facility with restrooms, showers, laundry, a dump station, and access to firewood. Even though the campground is open during the warmer months, freezing temperatures or other inclement weather may cause some of the facilities that use water to close for some time. During high-traffic times such as holidays and weekends, the park may assess a minimum night stay. Please respect the park’s posted quiet hours which begin at 11:00 pm nightly.
The fishing at Yatesville Lake brings visitors to the facility from both near and far. Launch your boat from the boat launch at the marina or the campground and head out on the waters to look for bluegill, channel catfish, flathead catfish, largemouth bass, and redear sunfish. If you need fishing supplies, or you are interested in renting a boat, head over to the marina to see how you can get out onto the water for a day of fishing. Before fishing, remember to get a fishing license. The state of Kentucky requires that all anglers ages 16 and older have and possess a valid fishing license.
Boating and water sports are some of park guests’ favorite activities at Yatesville Lake. The lake has plenty of surface area to explore by boat, and the water is open year-round for jet skiing, house boating, pontoon boating, fishing, paddleboarding, and kayaking. Visitors can rent boats from the marina or bring their own watercraft and access the water from one of the two boat ramps. For information on renting boats or Kentucky boating laws, contact the park’s marina.
The Eagle Ridge Golf Course at Yatesville Lake is a course built to challenge golfers of all skill levels. The course’s landscape gives golfers plenty of things to see while playing. Thick forest surrounds the rolling greens where the wildlife live and thrive, and many of the animals make appearances out on the fairway. Each hole has four or five sets of tees, and together with the manicured greens, playing becomes a fun opportunity for all golfers. The course participates in the Kentucky State Parks Golf Trail discount card program so that golfers can play several rounds of golf at a discounted rate at many of the participating facilities. For information on tee times, dress code, or golf equipment, contact the park.
The trails in Yatesville Lake State Park are varied and offer guests plenty of options to get outside and explore. Hikers, bikers, and equestrians will enjoy the 20-mile, multi-use trail that is operated by the Lawrence County Saddle Club. This trail is accessible from the campground. If you prefer a path designated for hikers only, head out to the two and a half-mile Mary Ingle Trail. This trail is located near the marina and has six separate trail loops. One of the circuits is ADA accessible and has interpretive information posted along the route. If you prefer a more rugged hike, access three of the loops that pass through a rugged wooded-area, or if you just want to stretch your legs, try the two exercise paths. If you prefer a leisurely hike that is close to the campground, the Pleasant Ridge Trail System has five separate wooded trails that lead to the lake.
Bird lovers will love the bird watching opportunities at the park. Bring your binoculars and your bird guides and head to the commonly-spotted bird areas. Watching near the marina or the dam area will give you the best chances of seeing bald eagles, waterfowl, or osprey. Wild turkey, dove, woodpeckers, grouse, cardinals, and warblers like to frequent the wooded areas near the campgrounds and the trails. During the spring and summer, birds like robins, migrating species, purple martins, and hummingbirds make their appearance. If you visit in the winter, you will most likely want to search for the American goldfinch. Whatever season you visit the park, the bird spotting is spectacular.
No matter when you visit the park, you will enjoy spending your time outside. Kentucky has some of the most beautiful rolling hills and thickly-wooded landscapes. The scenery makes camping and sitting outside feel both peaceful and relaxing. If you like to eat outdoors, plan to spend time at the picnic shelter. For more sporty activities, spend time playing horseshoes and corn hole while you watch the kids play at the playground. If you plan on bringing a larger group to the park, and you want to reserve the shelter, the park accepts reservations up to a year in advance.