Yatesville Lake State Park is a 2,300-acre mountain reservoir known for some of the best fishing opportunities in the region, with bluegill, crappie, and bass. Located near the town of Louisa, Kentucky in Lawrence County, the lake has three islands to explore and is a local favorite for boaters, hikers, and paddlers, as well as campers. The lake is filled by the waters of Blaine Creek and runs an average of 40 feet deep in most places. At the park, there are 27 campsites with facilities, 20 primitive sites, 16 boat-in sites, and 4 hike-in sites.
What Makes It Great
There are 16 sites along Yatesville Lake the require boating in to reach them. Of course that means more effort is required to get out there, but the seclusion they offer is worth it. At the main campsites, you’ll find well-maintained restrooms and showers, plus laundry facilities and a dump station, while the boat-in campsites only have restrooms. All of the boat-in spots are lakefront, expect beautiful sunsets at night and all the boating and fishing sessions you could ask for during the day.
Keep an eye out for a variety of birds that call the lake their home, from bald eagles and ospreys to hummingbirds, cardinals, and even wild turkeys.
Besides camping and fishing, the lake is great for swimming and recreational boating activities, like tubing and paddling. There’s also an 18-hole golf course, and plenty of places for picnicking with loved ones. A couple trails wind their way through the area, too: the 2-mile Pleasant Ridge Trail near the campground and the 2.5-mile Mary Ingles Trail near the marina. You can also get on the 20-plus mile Yatesville Lake Multi-Use Trail, which is open to hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders.
Who is Going to Love It
Campers who enjoy seclusion or who want to spend time in close-ish proximity to fellow boaters and fisherpeople will enjoy the boat-in camping at Yatesville Lake State Park. Families will also be happy about the spot—there’s an abundance of facilities like restrooms and showers and plenty of built in activities for little ones like a playground, horseshoe pit, and cornhole setups. Hikers will also be happy staying here—the park’s multi-use trail runs for over 20 miles and is also open to bikers and horseback riders. Of course golfers will be delighted with not only the 18 hole course, but the availability of equipment rentals as well—no need to lug your own gear all over the place.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
You’ll find the park’s entrance at 2667 Pleasant Ridge Road in Louisa. There are two boat launches: one at the marina and one at the campground.
A Kentucky fishing license is required if you plan to fish on the lake.