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Nestled within the forested hills of northeastern Kentucky, the Carter Caves State Resort Park Campground is an ideal setting for exploring the caverns that are hidden below. It offers a range of primitive and standard electric (30/50amp) back-in RV sites to select from, as well as dedicated equestrian sites and those that are big rig accessible.
Camping at Carter Caves State Resort Park Campground includes access to restrooms and showers, as well as laundry facilities if you need to catch up on your washing. There are a swimming pool and a children’s playground to keep young visitors entertained, with pets also welcome to stay with you.
Aside from exploring the below-ground wonders of the region, this RV campground is also a popular base for accessing the surrounding nature trails on foot, horseback, or mountain biking. Canoeing is also possible on the surrounding waterways, and there’s a nine-hole golf course for guests wanting to practice their swing.
A highlight of RV camping at Carter Caves State Resort Park Campground is accessing its caves, which can be explored on a variety of different guided tours. The X-Cave is one of the most popular, with stunning formations such as the Great Chandelier and the Pipe Organ. Discover the vast chambers and 30-foot underground waterfall on a tour of Cascade Cave, which is home to its very own reflecting pool, or see the Saltpetre Cave that was used as a source of gunpowder during the War of 1812 and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Feeling more adventurous? Carter Caves State Resort Park also offers a number of Wild Cave Tours that are more rugged and strenuous. Embark on the thrilling Bat Cave Walking Tour or one of the challenging Crawling Tours while equipped with coveralls, kneepads, helmets, and headlamps. If you want to explore independently, you can visit the Laurel and Horn Hollow Caves, with a large and picturesque reflecting pool often visible at the latter.
Carter Caves State Resort Park Campground can also be used as a base for visiting Grayson Lake State Park, which is around 30 minutes’ drive south. This human-made lake sprawls across 1,512 acres and is a popular destination for boating, water skiing, fishing, and swimming. You can access the lake’s steep cliffs and coves by canoe or try your luck at luring largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill, crappie, and catfish. The park is also home to a golf course and the short Beech-Hemlock Forest Trail, which offers an introduction to the plants, rock formations, and wildlife of the park.
Olive Hill campers can pick up grocery supplies at one of the supermarkets in town, with a gas station closer to Carter Caves State Resort Park Campground if you need to fill up your RV rental. Olive Hill is also home to numerous fast-food restaurants and eateries if you want to dine out, along with banks and a post office.
Olive Hill was established as a rural trading post during the early 19th century before being relocated to the Tygarts Creek valley where the Elizabethtown, Lexington and Big Sandy Railroad had laid tracks. It was served by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway during its heyday, with a beautifully restored passenger depot from the period remaining today. Also of note is a historic caboose that’s preserved within the John Hop Brown Memorial Park in the heart of the city. If you’re interested in the local history, spend an hour or so at the Northeastern Kentucky Museum where artifacts detail the early Native American inhabitants and the community’s involvement in the Vietnam War.
Carter Caves State Resort Park Campground can also be used as a base for visiting Grayson, which lies around 20 minutes’ drive to the east. It hosts the Carter County Farmers Market each Saturday morning where you can pick up fresh produce and local goodies grown in the region. Alternatively, coincide your visit with the Carter County Flea Market that takes place in Grayson on Thursdays and Saturdays, with plenty of treasures and bargains to be found.
Camp in an RV near Olive Hill and you’re also on the doorstep of the Poppy Mountain Bluegrass Festival, which takes place each September. More than 100 bands travel to Poppy Mountain to share their love of bluegrass music amidst the peaceful, rural setting.
Whether you want to venture underground to explore the Carter Caves or discover the local railway history, book an RV in Carter County and start planning your next vacation.