Barren River Lake, Kentucky, USA
Barren River Lake, located in south-central Kentucky, is one of the state’s hidden jewels, covering over 10,100 acres. The lake was created by the Louisville Army Corps of Engineers; construction was completed in 1964. In 1965, Barren County began purchasing lakeside land, creating Barren River Lake State Resort Park, a vacation destination for water lovers all over the country. Located in the famous Kentucky Caves region, Barren…
Keep scrolling to read more.
Welcome to the ultimate guide to Barren River Lake! Article topics include:
- All About Barren River Lake
- Where to Stay
- Vacation Planning Tools
- Things to Do
- Known Fish Species
- Barren River Lake Map
- Statistics / Weather / Helpful Links
- Barren River Lake Gifts
Looking for Barren River Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.
All About Barren River Lake, KY
Barren River Lake, located in south-central Kentucky, is one of the state’s hidden jewels, covering over 10,100 acres. The lake was created by the Louisville Army Corps of Engineers; construction was completed in 1964. In 1965, Barren County began purchasing lakeside land, creating Barren River Lake State Resort Park, a vacation destination for water lovers all over the country.
Located in the famous Kentucky Caves region, Barren River Lake is only half an hour’s drive from the world’s longest cave system within Mammoth Cave National Park. Many lake visitors plan to take advantage of the many activities afforded by the lake’s geographic location, such as cave appreciation weekends, park-sponsored hiking trips, Wild Cave Days and more.
Do-it-yourself nature lovers will feel as welcome here as those who like to go on guided tours. Hiking trails dot Barren River Lake’s shores, providing paths of varying difficulty, all of which will take you on winding tours around the lake. Catch glimpses of grazing deer, visit old historical buildings, stand in awe at beautiful lake vistas stretching out before you, and simply enjoy a pristine Kentucky afternoon. Visitors with an equestrian streak will also find themselves entertained at Barren River Lake, with its miles of horse trails and riding stables able to provide guided trails and horse rentals.
The Barren River Lake State Park also offers two geocaches, Life’s a Beech and Lean 2 Knots, and whether you’re just a beginner or an avid hobbyist, you’ll love searching for treasure under the wide blue sky. When you’ve filled your pockets with all the goodies you can find, head over to the lake’s beautiful sand beach where you can catch some golden rays, have a picnic, and frolic in the cool, clean lake waters.
If fishing is your pleasure, Barren River Lake is here to indulge you: bluegill, channel catfish, crappie, hybrid bass, largemouth bass, rough fish, and white bass all dwell under the lake’s gentle waters. In fact, the lake is well-known as one of the top-producing largemouth bass lakes in the country. Huge catches have been made here, and a recent lake record for hybrid bass weighed in at a whopping 20.5 pounds. If you’re dreaming of such a catch, bring your rod and your patience and set out for a day of sport fishing.
Because the primary purpose of Barren River Lake is flood control, the water level is drawn down in the fall to winter pool level, allowing spring rains to fill the reservoir instead of flooding the surrounding land. The summer pool water level is 552 feet above sea level; winter pool level is lowered to 525 feet, reducing the lake’s surface acreage by 56 percent.
If sun and fun are your pleasure, book a vacation to Barren River Lake. With its varied recreational offerings and beautiful scenery, the lake is sure to please.
Things to Do at Barren River Lake
These are some activities in the Barren River Lake, KY area visitors can enjoy:
- Vacation Rentals
- Horseback Riding
- Wildlife Viewing
- State Park
- National Park
What Kind of Fish Are in Barren River Lake?
Barren River Lake has been known to have the following fish species:
- Black Bass
- Channel Catfish
- Largemouth Bass
- White Bass
Find Places to Stay at Barren River Lake
If you’re considering a Barren River Lake lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.
Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission if you click and make a purchase. Read our full disclosure policy here.
More Sites to Book a Barren River Lake Vacation
Our interactive Barren River Lake lodging map above is an easy tool for comparing VRBO rental homes and nearby hotels with Booking.com, but there could be times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodations. Here are some other lake lodging partners we recommend:
Barren River Lake Statistics & Helpful Links
Lake Type: Not Known
Water Level Control: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Surface Area: 10,100 acres
Shoreline Length: 141 miles
Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 552 feet
Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 525 feet
Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 590 feet
Maximum Depth: 118 feet
Water Volume: 190,320 acre-feet
Completion Year: 1964
Drainage Area: 940 sq. miles
We strive to keep information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. If you’ve found something here that needs updating, please touch base by filling out our Content Correction form.
Shop Barren River Lake Gifts
More Barren River Lake news from LakeLubbers.com
- Advertise your vacation rental property or local business: DETAILS HERE
- The Barren River Lake forum has been discontinued: HERE’S WHY
- New Barren River Lake photos coming soon!
- You’re invited to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!
- Share this Barren River Lake article with your fellow LakeLubbers: