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Cave Run Lake

Cave Run Dam

Cave Run Lake is located within the scenic Eastern Highlands Region of Kentucky about 60 miles East of Lexington and is almost completely surrounded by the northern-most section of the Daniel Boone National Forest. The Louisville District of the US Army Corps of Engineers built the earth and rock-fill dam and outlet works starting construction in 1965 and completed in 1973. The dam has a maximum height of 148 feet and is about a half mile in length. The lake has an 8,270 acre surface area and is about 48 miles long during the summer months.

The lake was built for flood control along the Licking River Basin (826 square miles) and serves as a unit of the Ohio River Flood protection plan. Cave Run Lake provides a drinking water supply for surrounding communities and supports recreational opportunities for the general public. It also provides enhanced water quality along the lower Licking River through increased water flow during dry periods.

The lake and surrounding recreational areas are managed by the Cumberland District of the US Forest Service while the US Army Corps of Engineers operate and maintain the dam and three day-use recreational areas adjacent to the dam. Visitors to Cave Run Lake will be required to purchase a pass to use certain Forest Service boat launch parking areas and ramps. The passes can be purchased at the U.S. Forest Service Visitor Center on Kentucky Highway 801 South and from many commercial vendors in the lake area. Notice: The Day-Use Passes purchased from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are not valid at any of the Forest Service boat launching sites on Cave Run Lake.

*To find out the daily lake level and outflow, please see the Corps of Engineers Louisville District Lake Report web page here.

This institution is operated under special use permit with the Daniel Boone National Forest. In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) To file a complaint of discrimination: write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.