The Bluegrass State may not border an ocean, but that doesn’t mean there are no dog-friendly beaches for water-loving pups. In fact, Kentucky is home to beautiful inland lakes and rivers. Many of these have parks and beaches that welcome dogs. Do you and your pooch need a day of relaxation or fun in the sun? Head for one of these Top 6 Dog Beaches In Kentucky for the some of the best tail-wagging Summer adventures.
6. Green River Lake State Park In Campbellsville
All Kentucky state parks are now dog-friendly, including the Green River Lake State Park in Campbellsville. In the mid-1960s, the Army Corps of Engineers built a dam on the Green River that created the 8,200-acre lake. The state park, which opened a few years later, boasts a campground, picnic pavilions, hiking trails, and a sandy beach. Leashed dogs are welcome on the beach and trails. For a nominal fee, your dog can even stay with you at the campground if you want to plan a weekend away to take in the beauty of Kentucky.
5. Lake Malone State Park In Dunmor
Nestled in 50-foot sandstone cliffs is Malone Lake, located in Dunmor, north of Nashville. The rocky bluffs provide the perfect backdrop to the cool, wooded lake. Your pooch can join you for a swim or a quick nap on the sandy beach as long as he keeps his leash on. You will both enjoy to the easy hiking trails that get you up close and personal with the craggy sandstone and picturesque forest. The state park is open just in the Summer, from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
4. Yatesville Lake State Park In Louisa
One of eastern Kentucky’s largest and most popular lakes, Yatesville Lake is a Mecca for boaters and fisherman. The 2,300-acre lake has three islands and is full of bass, bluegill, and crappie. Is your pup your first mate when you are boating? If so, then he will love motoring around Yatesville Lake in a pontoon or speed boat. When it is time to cool off, you can both dive into the gentle waves at the Yatesville Lake State Park’s sandy, dog-friendly beach. Out of courtesy to the other swimmers and beachgoers, you will need to keep your pet on a leash.
3. Carr Creek State Park In Sassafras
Situated along the Carr Fork, a branch of the North Fork of the Kentucky River, Carr Creek State Park is renowned for its wildlife. Visitors can see great blue herons, wood ducks, wild turkeys, skunks, and deer. The park’s swimming area is not a typical sandy beach, but a pleasant, grassy meadow to the edge of the water. If your dog loves to swim, but hates the sand, then Carr Creek State Park might offer the ideal solution. After a nice swim in the creek, your pooch can roll in the grass—doggie paradise. Leashes are required at Carr Creek State Park and owners must pick up after their pets.
2. Buckhorn Lake State Resort In Buckhorn
The 1,200-acre Buckhorn Lake is flanked by wooden hills and pristine forests. At the Buckhorn Lake State Resort, you will find a 36-room lodge overlooking the lake, as well as a few standalone cottages. Now that all of the state parks in Kentucky are dog-friendly, you can bring your four-legged best friend with you for a vacation getaway to the charming lodge and picturesque lake. Dogs can stay with you in the accommodations and join you on the lake for sun-filled days of boating and swimming. The resort has a two-dog maximum and a leash rule in place.
1. Big Bone Lick State Park In Union
Located along the northern part of Kentucky is a state park with a name that every dog will love—Big Bone Lick State Park. During the Ice Age, mammoths, stags, bison, mastodons, pre-horses, and ground sloths flocked to this part of the Blue Grass state to lick the mineral-rich ground. Later, Native American and early settlers to the region noted the “big bones” that were easily unearthed. Today, the Big Bone Lick State Park honors its rich paleontological past with boating, swimming, camping, and outdoor activities. The beach is open to leashed dogs.
The parks and lakes of Kentucky may be smaller than the oceanfront beaches of coastal states, but the warm, Southern hospitality and the natural beauty of the state beckons visitors and inspired locals to explore the hidden gems of the Bluegrass State. You and your pup can experience the wonders of the state at any of these Top 6 Dog Beaches In Kentucky.