Where to Camp Near Louisville, KY

Camping is a wonderful way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and appreciate the beauty of nature. Of course, it can be the perfect way to spend quality time with loved ones, too. Whether you’re a visitor or a resident of the great city of Louisville, Kentucky, you may be interested in visiting some of these fun camping locations.

Charlestown State Park

brown dome tent near trees at night

Image by Josh Hild Free to use under the Unsplash License

Located in southern Indiana, about 40 minutes away from Louisville, Charlestown State Park is a 5,100-acre park on the banks of the Ohio River. Once used as the Indiana Army Ammunition Plant, it’s now a haven for nature lovers. Meander along the hiking trails to soak in the flowing creeks, mossy boulders, deep ravines, and huge, shady trees. Avid bird watchers can try to see some of the 72 species of birds here, including bluebirds, vultures, and even bald eagles. You’ll also want to check out the Portersville Bridge, a suspension bridge with a unique history.

Along with picnic areas with shelters, fishing, and playground equipment, you can find 60, full-hookup campsites and 132 electric campsites at this beloved state park. Make camping reservations on the Indiana state parks website. There you can make arrangements for RVs, cabins, tents, trailers, or horses and set your arrival dates and length of stay. Explore the camping map and list of regulations online. Also, make sure to check online for fun upcoming park events, like themed hikes and craft activities. If you need assistance, call the Park Office at 812-256-5600.

Lake Shelby Campground

In Shelbyville, about 50 minutes from the center of Louisville, Lake Shelby Campground is a nature area offering a variety of amenities and activities. Along with campgrounds, RV camping, and a log cabin, this place also has canoeing and paddleboats, fishing, a boat launch ramp, hiking, walking, and running trails, volleyball courts, picnic shelters, and playgrounds. Fans of fishing will appreciate the 20 acres of water filled with bluegill, crappie, bass, and catfish. You should also keep your eye out for bald eagles and other birds while enjoying the park’s nature trails.

Lake Shelby Campground has 10 RV sites, all with 50 amp max service. The one with full hookup, including sewer, is $30 per night, and the other nine with electric and water only are $25 per night. It also has 14 primitive tent sites with no water or electricity that are $20 per night. Long-term camping is available on a limited basis. Check online for campsite reservations, campground rules and regulations, refund policies, and the park map. For more information or to get assistance with making reservations, call 502-633-5069 or email [email protected]

Jefferson Memorial Forest

Jefferson Memorial Forest is a cherished lake and nature preserve located about 40 minutes from Louisville. The city of Louisville created this park in 1945 to honor military veterans. This haven of wilderness offers visitors 275 species of trees and greenery to enjoy and acts as a safe, clean habitat for a variety of wildlife, including many migratory birds. Along with exploring the dozens of hiking and equestrian trails that range from easy to strenuous, you can also participate in one of the many recreational programs available, like archery, survival skills, and canoeing.

Of course, this spot is also a prime camping destination. Jefferson Memorial Forest has a variety of campsites with parking spots for your truck or other vehicle, picnic tables, restrooms, grills, and running water. Most of them are next to walking and hiking trails, too. For more information or to reserve a campsite, call 502-368-5494 or fill out the form online. You can also check out camping rules online. Another option is to visit the Welcome Center in person to speak to the park staff, get trail maps, peruse the gift shop, and purchase refreshments.

My Old Kentucky Home State Park

Located about 45 minutes from Louisville, My Old Kentucky Home State Park is a campground and historical place museum in Bardstown, Kentucky. Its name derives from Stephen Foster’s famous, endearing song, “My Old Kentucky Home, Good-Night!” Along with strolling through the grounds and enjoying a round of golf at the course, you can also visit the museum to tour “Federal Hill,” a 19th-century mansion on the Rowan Estate. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for birds like red-tailed hawks, goldfinches, Northern cardinals, Carolina wrens, and more. You can even stay at one of the 39 campsites available.

These campsites are open from March to November every year. Each site has utility hookups. Plus, you’ll get access to a central service building with showers and restrooms and a dump station. Pets on leashes are allowed. If you need it, there’s also a grocery store and laundry spot across the street. You can make reservations for a site online. You can also hold events like weddings, meetings, or reunions in indoor or outdoor venues here. Check out the outdoor theater to watch a musical, or visit the gift shop to peruse books, handcrafted pottery, and other items.

Taylorsville Lake State Park

Nestled in Mount Eden, about an hour from Louisville, Taylorsville Lake State Park contains 1,200 acres of nature, plus the stunning Taylorsville Lake. This area is a paradise for anglers looking for bass, bluegill, and crappie. You can launch your own boat from one of four launching ramps or schedule time on one of the pontoon rentals, and you’ll be covered with gas, food, and fishing equipment from the marina. This park is also perfect for equestrians looking for gorgeous, green riding land. Plus, walkers, hikers, mountain bikers, and horse riders will probably appreciate the 24-mile trail system here.

Camping options at the Taylorsville Lake State Park include 45 roomy RV sites with both water and electric hookups, 10 sites for equestrians with electric and water hookups, and 15 primitive tent sites. Along with a dump station for RV use, there are also two playgrounds for children and two buildings with restrooms, showers, and laundry facilities. Leashed pets are allowed. To camp here, go online to reserve your spot. Reservations are recommended but not mandatory. The campground is open from November to March. Call 502-477-0086 with questions.

As you can see, there are plenty of places to go camping near Louisville, Kentucky. We want to know what you think. Did we miss anything? What are your favorite camping sites near this city? Let us know here at Dan Cummins Chevrolet Buick of Georgetown, and we’ll make sure to add it to our list.

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