Lake Malone, Kentucky, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - South - Kentucky - Bluegrass, Blues & Barbecue Region -

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.

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

Lake Malone Photo Gallery

    Lake Malone Statistics & Helpful Links

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    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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    Trophic State | LakeLubbers

    Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

    An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

    A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

    A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

    The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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    Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

    Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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    Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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    Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

    Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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    Completion Year | LakeLubbers

    This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

    The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

    You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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    Water Volume | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

    You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

    Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

    1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

    The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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    Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

    You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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    Average Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

    Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

    Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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    Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

    At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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    Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

    Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

    When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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    Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

    You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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    Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

    This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

    A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

    When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

    You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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    Surface Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

    The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

    You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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    Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

    This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

    Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

    "Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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    Lake Type | LakeLubbers

    There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

    - A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

    - A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

    - A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

    "Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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