Carr Creek State Park is more than just your average Kentucky State Park. Alongside its natural beauty, the park boasts a heritage rich with pioneer history. The area’s earliest settlers are said to have established a community here as early as the 1770s. In fact, the park itself is thought to have been named after William Carr, a famous hunter-and-gatherer that once lived in the area. Today, travelers camping at Carr Creek State Park can revel in this fascinating history while enjoying the rolling hills, dense pine forests, and 700-acre Carr Creek Lake.
Due to its remote nature, there are no major highways that pass by Carr Creek State Park. Instead, the park is surrounded by a network of smaller roads and tracks that lead from Highway 119 and 421. It takes around two hours to reach the park from either Lexington, KY, or Huntington, WV. For this reason, consider renting an RV in this region, when you’re hoping to explore some of Kentucky’s more remote regions and beautiful hidden gems.
Carr Creek Lake is the central feature of the state park and the main reason why so many choose to book an RV in Knott County. Fishing is a popular way to while away the days on the lake, and for a good reason. Harboring a huge variety of fish species including largemouth bass, walleye, trout, and crappie, Carr Creek Lake panders to all angling abilities. Whether you’d prefer fishing from a secluded spot along the shoreline or from your own boat out in the open waters, its all possible here.
In fact, those RV camping at Carr Creek State Park with their own boat can do more than fish from it! All types of watercraft are permitted out on the lake, including both motorized and non-motorized vessels. Due to the slim profile of the lake, canoeing and kayaking are the most popular activities. Several boat launch ramps can be found at the fully serviced marina, along with many outlets if you need to pick up a rental or any extra fishing tackle.
Alternatively, if you’d rather relax during your Carr Creek State Park camping trip, the lake is home to one of the longest sandy beaches in the state. Open from May through to October; this beautiful beach is perfect for catching some rays, cooling down in the refreshing waters, taking a short stroll, or even building a sandcastle or two with the kids.
There is no shortage of off-water activities to keep you occupied here aswell; hiking trails are spectacular and cater to a variety of abilities. One of the most popular is the 10-mile loop hike, known as Sugar Branch Trail. Following the northern banks of Carr Creek Lake, the views you'll receive from this walk are sure to stop you in your tracks. Enjoy views over the lake as well as the occasional glimpse of wildlife including unique birdlife, warblers, and raccoons.
Camping at Carr Creek State Park
Travelers have two options when it comes to camping with an RV here. The first of the two can be found in the state park itself. Situated on the southwestern banks of the lake, campers can choose from just short of 40 scenic, lakeside spots. Each equipped with electrical and water hookups as well as a picnic table, fire pit, and grill. Anyone traveling without a contained bathroom in their RV rental will be glad to know that the campsite provides hot showers, flushing toilets, laundry facilities, and potable water taps. Open seasonally from March through to November; you’ll need to reserve a spot in advance if you plan on visiting during holidays or weekends.
Don’t worry too much if you don’t manage to bag a spot here, as Littcarr Campground is just a five-minute drive away on the opposite side of the water. Despite being further away from Carr Creek State Park, this campground boasts a few more creature comforts. While most of the pitches are facilitated with partial hookups only (water and electric), a small handful can also be hooked up to the onsite dump station. Other facilities include a small general store selling ice and firewood, hot showers, a coin-operated laundry room, and a children’s playground.
Exploring the Area
When you’re heading to Carr Creek State Park from Central Kentucky, chances are you’ll pass through Lexington on your travels. Stop off here for a few hours, or maybe even stay a night, and see what the town has to offer.
If you’re an avid equestrian with a Lexington camper rental, it would be a shame to miss The Kentucky Horse Park. This comprehensive site consists of countless stables teeming with award-winning horses, a couple of museum buildings, and even several memorial statues. Learn about the history of horse riding in one of the extensive museums before getting up close and personal with one of the famed horses in the stables. Make it a memorable experience by purchasing a ride on a horse that will take you through some of the park's beautiful landscapes.
To continue on your journey of equine history, pop into the American Saddlebred Museum or International Museum of The Horse. While the first will provide an overview of the history of saddlebred horses in America through a collection of artifacts and historical artwork, the latter celebrates the achievements of horses throughout the world. Whichever you pick to explore, you’re guaranteed to leave with a newfound knowledge of the equestrian world.
If horses aren’t your thing, maybe natural hot springs are. McConnell Springs is part of a 26-acre park that sits just on the outskirts of Lexington. Although swimming is not allowed here due to the extreme temperatures of the springs, the grounds offer a scenic and interesting walk past the various pools. Don’t miss The Boils, where water rushing up from the ground makes the mud look like it is boiling, or The Final Sink, where the waters disappear into a cave and flow underground before resurfacing at Preston’s Cave, 500 meters downstream.