Nolin River Lake, Kentucky, USA

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Nolin River Lake — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

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Looking for Nolin River Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.

All About Nolin River Lake

Tucked into the hills of south central Kentucky, 5,795 acre Nolin River Lake shares residence among Edmonson, Grayson, and Hart counties. Created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1963 by impoundment of the Nolin River, the reservoir provides flood control and some of the best recreational opportunities in the surrounding area.

The Corps of Engineers reduces the lake level in winter to prevent flooding in the spring. The lake is 39 miles long with 172 miles of shoreline at summer pool, with an elevation of 515 feet above sea level. The winter pool level is 490 feet above sea level, reducing the lake’s acreage to 2,890. Its maximum depth is about 100 feet at the dam; the average depth ranges from 30-40 feet. Danger buoys mark shallow areas and other navigational hazards.

The lake is home to three campgrounds which offer waterfront, woodland, and primitive digs, depending on your style. Dog Creek Campground has 70 campsites and boasts electric and water hookups, disabled access, waterfront views, and even a special swimming area. Moutardier Campground is nestled into the hills of Edmonson County and offers 167 campsites, water and electric hookups, disabled access, and a path to the waterfront. Like Moutardier, Wax Campground is also snuggled up to the Kentucky hills, offering a path to the shoreline for its 110 campsites that offer electric and water hookups, disabled access, and a boat ramp. Nolin River Lake is about 20 miles north of the largest known cave system in the world, Mammoth Cave National Park.

Boaters love the accessibility of Nolin River Lake, offering over 25 public use boat ramps. Three marinas dot the shores, providing full services such as gas, fishing gear, picnicking supplies, and the ever-important boat rental. If boating appeals to you, rent a boat and head out onto the clean, cool waters of this secluded reservoir.

Fishing is a specialty of the lake, and the resident bluegill, channel catfish, crappie, largemouth bass, rainbow trout, walleye, and white bass promise to make your day worthwhile. You can choose to fish off of your boat or enjoy one of the three public fishing piers constructed by the Corps of Engineers, each located at the same recreation areas as the above mentioned campsites.

Perhaps the biggest draw of Nolin River Lake is the notable absence of all things commercial. Coming to the lake is your chance to escape from the everyday, and all visitors can’t help but enjoy the intense sights and sounds of the nature that surrounds them. Take a hike on the lake’s Shady Creek Trail to get a backstage look at the beauty of Kentucky. As you snake through the upland hardwood forest, you’ll come face-to-face with wide-eyed deer, squirrels, and a variety of other animals that make their home here.

Nolin River Lake is the place that the world forgot: with no need to tune out car horns, ignore city lights, or answer the incessant ring of the telephone, a few days here will be just the break you need.

Things to Do at Nolin River Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • National Park

Fish Species Found at Nolin River Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Sunfish
  • Trout
  • Walleye
  • White Bass

Find Places to Stay at Nolin River Lake

If you’re considering a Nolin 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.

Recommended Sites to Book a Nolin River Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Nolin River Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Nolin River Lake Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Surface Area: 5,795 acres

Shoreline Length: 172 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 515 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 490 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 560 feet

Average Depth: 35 feet

Maximum Depth: 100 feet

Water Volume: 170,140 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1963

Drainage Area: 703 sq. miles

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

Shop Nolin River Lake Gifts

Custom Lake Tumblers

Captain / First Mate Custom 20 oz Tumbler

Custom Lake T Shirt

Personalized My Boat My Rules Unisex T-Shirt

Custom Lake Coffee Mug - On Lake Time

On Lake Time Custom Coffee Mug – 11oz or 15oz


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