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General Information

Description - The 1,230 acre Buckhorn Lake and surrounding area offers a wide variety of outdoor recreation opportunities. The Corps, in cooperation with the Commonwealth of Kentucky manages the land and water for wildlife, fisheries and recreation. Buckhorn Lake is situated in the Cumberland Plateau of eastern Kentucky. This is an area that possesses a landscape as rugged and extraordinary as any found in the state. The plateau is deeply traversed by a series of narrow, winding valleys separated by steep watersheds and covered by a network of continuously branching streams. Originating in the southeast and flowing generally northwestward, the Kentucky River is one of this region's major rivers. The underlying mineral-bearing rock structure is sedimentary, consisting of sandstones and shales with alternating layers of coal that were deposited 250 million years ago during the Pennsylvanian Age of the Carboniferous Period. Mississippian Age limestone lies beneath the sandstones and shales, and where exposed and sculptured by winds and rains, the result has been impressive rock formations that contribute to the scenic beauty of the area. At Buckhorn Lake you can camp or picnic at one of four Corps operated recreation areas; fish, boat, swim or ski on Buckhorn Lake; hunt in the Buckhorn Lake Wildlife Management Area or Daniel Boone National Forest; walk numerous undeveloped trails; or enjoy a weekend getaway at the Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park. The menu on the right leads you to specific recreation and other lake information.

Attractions - The Dam Site Boat Launch Ramp is a popular boat launching ramp for campers at the Buckhorn Campground as well as residents of local communities. A large parking area is available to accommodate vehicles with trailers. A courtesy dock is located at the ramp during the summer recreation season. The Buckhorn Lake State Resort marina has 95 open slips, two launching ramps, rental pontoon boats, and fishing boats. Open April through October. Buckhorn Lake has many unique camping opportunities to offer outdoor enthusiasts throughout the spring, summer, and fall recreation seasons. Enjoy RV camping with amenities such as city water, electricity and television cable hook-ups, or the peaceful tranquility of shoreline tent camping. Buckhorn Lake has it all. Reservations are by calling 1-877-444-6777. The Tailwater Day Use Area is the most heavily visited area at Buckhorn Lake. It includes several picnic sites near the Middle Fork of the Kentucky River just below Buckhorn Dam, two reservable modern Day Use Picnic Shelters (one with electric and water), a third small Day Use Picnic Shelter, a modern playground, horseshoe pits and a flush toilet facility. Drinking water is also available. The other day use facilities are Confluence, Leatherwood and Trace Branch.

Recreation - Buckhorn Lake offers a wide variety of outdoor recreation opportunities. The lake is located in the foothills of the Cumberland Plateau, which is part of the scenic beauty of the Appalachia Mountain Range. Visitors may enjoy everything from day trips to group gatherings at their choice of four day-use recreation areas managed by the Corps of Engineers at Buckhorn Lake, or they may choose multi-week vacation getaways by taking advantage of the variety of camping opportunities available at each of the three campgrounds managed by the Corps at Buckhorn Lake. Other recreational opportunities at Buckhorn Lake include fishing, boating, swimming and water skiing. Visitors may also enjoy game hunting in the Buckhorn Lake Wildlife Management Area or Daniel Boone National Forest; walking numerous undeveloped trails; or simply enjoying a peaceful weekend retreat at the Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park.

Climate - This state experiences a temperate climate with nearly 50 inches of rainfall annually. Thirteen inches of snow is an annual average in Kentucky. There are four distinct seasons here with summer temperatures reaching 90 degrees F frequently in July and August. Low summer temperatures dip near 70 degrees F at night. Winter high temperatures often reach 45 degrees with lows dipping below freezing. Spring and fall are particularly pleasant seasons in which to visit Kentucky. Fall months are the driest. The humidity levels in the state average near 54 degrees throughout the year. The humidity during the winter months averages somewhat higher.

Location - The lake is situated in Leslie and Perry counties on the Middle Fork of the Kentucky River in the foothills of the Cumberland Plateau, offering the scenic beauty of the Appalachian Mountain Range. Take I-64 East from Lexington to the Bert T. Combs Mountain Parkway just past Winchester, Ky., turn south onto the Bert T. Combs Mountain Parkway (only 1 entrance) and follow it to the Natural Bridge exit at Slade, take Highway 11 South at Slade and follow it through Beattyville and Booneville. At Booneville, go straight past the courthouse. That road becomes Highway 28, follow Highway 28 approximately 23 miles to Buckhorn, at the unmarked intersection in Buckhorn, go straight ahead across the concrete bridge. The campground will be the first entrance on the left and the Corps office is located at the top of the hill on the other side of the dam. Distance is approximately 95 miles.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: V. Martin Ogrosky (Charlotte , NC)
Number of People Encountered: 50+ ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Buckhorn Lake, KY is an excellent destination in East Kentucky, with remote areas, elk, fishing and hunting guide services, and Old Bowlingtown near the Main Lodge. Bowling Town was connected to Daniel Boone and Old Cherokee Nation, and Powhatan, white, creole descent groups. See: www.hazardkentucky.com

Filed By: Joan Meyer (Fort Wayne, IN)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Not Recommended
Report: The toughest part is getting a reservation at Buckhorn Lake Resort on the weekend. I really need to reserve a room there before the end of August, but all rooms are, supossedly, reserved until October. This is a very important 'Godly' intervention (situation) and the weekend is the only time I can make it. If there is any way I could reserve a room for Friday and Saturday nights before the end of August, I would apprediate it VERY MUCH. I am praying God will intervene and make the situation posible. Thank You. (And God) Joan Meyer...Phone Numbert 260=436-9786 If there is a cancellation, I would much appreciate a call.

More Information

Contact Information:
Buckhorn Lake, BUCKHORN LAKE , BUCKHORN, KY, 41721-9999, Phone: 606-398-7251

Additional Information:
Kentucky Lakes And Reservoir -


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