Lake Malone, Kentucky, USA

Welcome to the ultimate guide for history, statistics, local fun facts and the best things to do at Lake Malone.

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Lake Malone visitor and community guide

Lake Malone is situated in the heart of the Kentucky wilderness, part of the “Bluegrass, Blues and Barbecue” tourism region. Shaped like a large sideways “Y,” Lake Malone spans Logan, Muhlenberg and Todd counties. It is surrounded by dramatic 50-foot sandstone cliffs and thick woodlands.

Lake Malone was created for flood control and recreation by impounding the waters of Rocky Creek. The project was a cooperative effort of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Federal Soil Conservation Service. The Rocky Creek Dam was completed in 1961, forming 826-acre Lake Malone with 26 miles of shoreline. The lake’s average depth of 17 feet and maximum depth of 40 feet make it perfect for a range of recreational activities: swimming, boating, wake boarding, water skiing, canoeing and kayaking.

Lake Malone State Park is located on the northern arm of the lake. Facilities include campgrounds and picnic tables, along with a swimming beach, boat ramp and dock. It is managed by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, an organization that keeps the area immaculately maintained. Not surprisingly, real estate properties and vacation rentals are in high demand. Many offer breathtaking lakeside views and access to various riparian trails.

Hiking is one of the most relaxing things to do at Lake Malone State Park. The Laurel Trail winds for 1.5 miles through holly, mountain laurel, dogwood trees and assorted wildflowers. It also passes by several Native American historic sites and rock shelters; with a little imagination, visitors can transport themselves to a world without modern technology. The Wildflower Trail provides a 1/4-mile path of interpretive pleasure, ideal for casual strolling. This reserve offers a total of 338 scenic acres of public lands. Park amenities include restrooms, picnic shelters, grills and a playground. Pontoons, speed boats and pedal boats can be rented conveniently at the pier.

Fishing is unquestionably Lake Malone’s most notable pastime, as it is teeming with bluegill, largemouth bass, redear sunfish and channel catfish. Anglers can also trawl these waters for green sunfish, bullhead, warmouth and spotted gar. Less common species include bowfin, gizzard shad, spotted sucker and bluntnose minnow. There is a private marina and launching dock in addition to the public facilities, but guests should note that it requires a small fee.

East of Lake Malone, the Pennyrille State Forest makes for a wonderful day trip. Established in 1930, these woodlands are made up of 14,648 acres of forest in Christian, Hopkins and Caldwell Counties. Maintained by the Kentucky Division of Forestry, Pennyrille State Forest is home to a number of cooperative projects with the Department of Fish and Wildlife to restore floundering grouse and turkey populations. Hunting and fishing are permitted throughout these lands, as is camping. Numerous trails are available for hiking, backpacking and horseback riding. ATVs are prohibited.

The majority of Lake Malone is located in Muhlenberg County, formed in 1798 and named after Pennsylvanian revolutionary war hero John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg. A smaller portion of the body of water falls under Todd County, founded in 1820. This 376 square mile tract of land was named for Colonel John Todd, who died at the Battle of Blue Lick. The last part of Lake Malone can be found in Logan County, home to the 62-acre Baker Natural Area and the 41-acre Logan County Glade State Nature Preserve. Various museums, self-guided walking tour and golf courses are available throughout these three counties.

Lake Malone is one of Kentucky’s best loved and most frequently visited lakes for a reason. Sparkling waters, gorgeous grounds and a rich history make it perfect for lake lovers of all tastes and backgrounds. Rent a cabin or purchase a real estate property beside Lake Malone’s tranquil shores for a trip guaranteed to recharge your batteries and calm your soul.

Custom Lake Malone house decor

Read our full review of these personalized lake house signs.

Things to do at Lake Malone

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Wakeboarding
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Waterfall
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park
  • State Forest
  • Museum
  • Playground

Fish species found at Lake Malone

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Bowfin
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Gar
  • Gizzard Shad
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Redear Sunfish (Shellcracker)
  • Shad
  • Spotted Gar
  • Sucker
  • Sunfish
  • Warmouth

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Lake Malone

The Lake Malone map shown above is a simple and stress-free way to search for trip accommodations. But if you want to take a deeper dive to find the ideal waterfront home, cabin, condo, hotel or resort, visit our favorite lodging partners by clicking the buttons below.

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Lake Malone photo gallery

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Lake Malone statistics & helpful links


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources

Surface Area: 826 acres

Shoreline Length: 26 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 450 feet

Average Depth: 17 feet

Maximum Depth: 40 feet

Completion Year: 1961

Drainage Area: 28 sq. miles

Trophic State: Eutrophic

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