Campground Regulations

In order to protect visitors and the park, and in order to promote quality visitor experiences for everyone, there are certain activities that are prohibited and restricted within Kentucky State Parks. These prohibitions and restrictions are based on Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS-state law), Kentucky Administrative Regulations (KAR) and Kentucky Department of Parks Policy Memoranda.

List of Prohibited Activities

Drinking Alcoholic Beverages

KRS 222.202(2) A person is guilty of drinking alcoholic beverages in a public place when he drinks alcoholic beverages in a public place.
KRS 222.203(1) A peace officer shall make an arrest for a violation of KRS 222.202.


KRS 512.070(1) A person is guilty of criminal littering when he: (a) drops or permits to drop on a highway any destructive or injurious material and does not immediately remove it; or (b) knowingly places or throws litter on any public or private property without permission.
KRS 433.753 When any paper, waste material, litter or other refuse is thrown or dropped from a motor vehicle, the operator thereof shall be deemed prima facie to be guilty of criminal Uttering.

Injuring or Removing Plants

KRS 433.750 A person who picks, pulls, digs, tears up, cuts, breaks, burns or otherwise damages any tree shrub, flower, vine, bush or turf or the right of way of any state highway or county road or upon any land set aside, dedicated or maintained by this state as a public park or as a refuge or sanctuary for wild animals, birds or fish, without having first obtained permission in writing of the engineer having charge of the highway, or the superintendent or custodian of the park, refuge or sanctuary shall be fined not less than $25 nor more than $300.

Writing On Or Defacing Park property or Natural Rock Formations

KRS 512.040(1) A person is guilty of criminal mischief in the third degree when: (a) having no right to do so or any reasonable ground to believe that he has such right, he intentionally or wantonly defaces, destroys or damages any property.

Injuring Wildlife

KRS 148.029(1) All areas controlled by the Department of Parks and designated as camping, hiking or other family oriented recreation areas are designated wildlife sanctuaries for the purpose of affording protection to the wildlife thereon as natural, integrated, interrelated, ecological communities. (2) No unauthorized person shall enter a wildlife sanctuary and take, damage, injure, kill, destroy or unduly disturb the wildlife therein.


304 KAR 1:020 No person shall swim, bathe, or otherwise enter any water owned by... or under the control of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Department of Parks... unless they are within a swimming area designated by the Department of Parks.

Dogs Running At Large

KRS 258.215(1) Peace officers or animal control officers shall seize and impound any dog which does not bear a valid rabies tag or other legible identification which is found running at large. Any dog which an officer or animal control officer seizes shall be impounded in the designated animal shelter of the county and confined in a humane manner. If, after a reasonable effort, the seizure of an unrestrained dog cannot be made, or the dog presents a hazard to public safety or property or has an injury or physical condition which causes the dog to suffer, the animal control officer or peace officer may immediately destroy the dog by the most reasonable and humane means then available

List of Restricted Activities

These activities require permits or written permission from park officials.


Commercial Activities 304 KAR 1:030 Section 1. No person, corporation or any other entity shall conduct or engage in any form of trade, business or other commercial activity, and may not perform any type of service for compensation within the boundaries of any lands owned by, leased to or under the control of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Department of Parks, without obtaining the prior written consent of the Department of Parks and such consent shall not be withheld on a discriminatory basis.

Posting Advertisements Or Other Matter

KRS 512.080(1) A person is guilty of unlawfully posting advertisements when, having no right to do so or any reasonable ground to believe he has such right, he posts, paints or otherwise affixes to the property of another person or to public property any advertisement, poster, notice or other matter.

Metal Detectors

304 KAR 1:050 Section 1. Except as provided in Section 2 of this administrative regulation, the use of metal detectors shall be prohibited in all Kentucky State Parks.

Section 2. Park personnel, law enforcement personnel, and utilities may use metal detectors.


Park Policy Memo 98-05-01. The sport of rappelling is strictly forbidden anywhere within the jurisdiction of the Department of Parks without prior written permission of the Commissioner of Parks

Horseback Riding

Park Policy Memo 87-05-2. Horseback riding with privately owned horses in the state parks shall only be permitted in areas designated by the Commissioner of Parks.

Collecting Plants, Animals or Geological Materials For Scientific Purposes

Park Policy Memo 87-11-5. The Department of Parks prohibits all collecting of plants, animals, and geological materials for any purpose, including scientific, unless written approval is obtained from the Commissioner of Parks. No other permission, written or verbal, is acceptable.

Activities Sometimes Restricted

Building Fires

During periods of extreme forest fire danger (these times will be posted) fires of any type may be prohibited. Normally, cooking fires are permitted in any of the park's grills, or in suitable private grills. No ground fires are permitted without prior permission from park officials.


Park hiking trails may be closed on rare occasions when forest fire danger is extremely high. These times are posted. Otherwise, hiking trails are open continuously for clay hiking only. Overnight backcountry camping is not permitted anywhere, in the vicinity of the park's developed hiking trails

Campground Rules And Regulations

304 KAR 1.040
304 KAR 1.040 Campgrounds.


RELATES TO: KRS 148.021, 148.029, 148.051, 148.056, 148.991


NECESSITY, FUNCTION, AND CONFORMITY: KRS 148.021(8) authorizes the Commissioner of Parks to promulgate administrative regulations relating to the operation of state park campgrounds. This administrative regulation establishes requirements for the orderly operation of state park campgrounds.


Section 1. At each state park campground, requirements established in this section shall be posted and observed.


      (1) Camping, unless otherwise authorized by the park manager due to a special event creating an overflow, shall be restricted to the campground.

      (2)(a) A tent, a camping vehicle, a recreational vehicle, camping equipment, or other personal property shall not be left unattended longer than twenty-four (24) consecutive hours without written permission from the park manager.

      (b) Written permission pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subsection shall be based upon the best interests of the park.


      (3)(a) A pet shall:

      1. Be kept on a leash or otherwise restrained at all times;

      2. Have current inoculations for rabies as prescribed by the campers' state of residence; and

      3. Not be tied to trees or shrubs.

      (b) A camper shall clean up after the camper’s pet.

      (c) Campers unable to control their pets may be asked to leave the campground.


      (4)(a) Sewage or gray water from tents or recreational vehicles shall not be disposed of on the premises of the campground except at a sewage disposal site.

      (b) Dishes, pots, pans, and silverware shall not be washed at spigots or in bathhouses.

      (c) Vehicles or equipment shall not be washed within the campground.


      (5) Quiet time begins at 11 p.m. Campers shall not have visitors after 11 p.m.


      (6) Campers shall not:

      (a) Hang lanterns on trees or shrubs;

      (b) Drive an object into a tree, shrub, sign, building, or other object or structure in the campground; or

      (c) Trench or dig in the campground.


      (7) If the camper has a permit, a golf cart may be used on a state park campground.

      (a) A person may purchase a golf cart permit at the campground store or another location designated by the park manager for twenty-five (25) dollars, and the permit shall be valid for seven (7) consecutive days.

      (b) A person may purchase an annual golf cart permit at the campground store or another location designated by the park manager for $100 and the permit shall be valid April 1 through October 31.

      (c) Each permit shall be displayed prominently on the golf cart in a location designated by the park manager.

      (d) A golf cart shall not be parked or left in a no-parking zone, a prohibited area, or in an area that would block traffic.

      (e) A state park employee or agent may use a golf cart without a permit on the grounds of the state park campground if the employee or agent is acting on behalf of a state park.


      (8)(a) Motorbikes, motorcycles, motor scooters, and mopeds in the campground shall be restricted to regular roadways for use in entering and exiting only.

      (b) Four (4) wheelers, all terrain vehicles, utility type vehicles, or similar vehicles may be prohibited within portions of the campground in areas designated by the park manager.

      (c) Campers and visitors shall not joy ride on a motorized vehicle within the campground.

      (d) A driver shall be at least sixteen (16) years of age and have a valid driver’s license.

      (e) A vehicle shall be properly muffled and shall stay on paved roads.

      (f) An exception shall be made for the use of a motorized vehicle by a person with a disability who:

      1. Is using a motorized vehicle for travel to or from campground facilities; and

      2. Has proof of disability such as an appropriate identification card or vehicle license plate.


      (9)(a) Campsites may be reserved by telephone or via the Internet.

      (b) A campsite not reserved shall be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

      (c) Check-in time shall be 2 p.m., and check-out time shall be 1 p.m.


      (10)(a) There shall be a fourteen (14) day maximum stay unless granted a waiver by the park manager for good cause due to an emergency or business necessity.

      (b) A camper may be asked to move to facilitate maintenance on the site.

      (c) A camper shall not homestead.


      (11)(a) A camper shall register at the entrance gate or designated area and shall receive a campsite assignment from the gate attendant, which shall be noted with a camping permit.

      (b) A camper shall not change a campsite assignment, unless permission to move is granted by the gate attendant.

      (c) If a camper is permitted to select a site of the camper’s choice, the camper shall return immediately to the gate attendant and identify the chosen site.


      (12)(a) Central service buildings and other facilities in the camping area shall be for campers and their guests only.

      (b) Anyone other than a registered camper or guest shall not picnic, sightsee, or have reunions in the campground.


      (13) Fires shall be restricted to fire rings in designated areas only and shall be attended at all times.


      (14)(a) Vehicles shall be parked in campsite spaces and parking lots and shall display a "car pass" or "visitor pass."

      (b) No more than two (2) vehicles shall be permitted per campsite, including recreational vehicles (RV), except as permitted pursuant to subsection (16)(b) of this section.

      (c) Vehicles shall not block adjacent sites or roadways.


      (15) Tables shall not be moved from site to site.


      (16)(a) Two (2) groups or parties may share one (1) campsite.

      (b) If two (2) groups or parties agree to share one (1) campsite, each shall be issued a camping permit, if two (2) tents, campers, or recreational vehicles are used.


      (17)(a) A camper shall keep the camping site clean and dispense of refuse in the receptacles provided.

      (b) Campers may camp on grass only with prior permission of the gate attendant or park manager.


      (18) Alcoholic beverages shall not be publicly displayed.


      (19) Fireworks shall not be allowed at the campground.


      (20) Campers shall:

      (a) Report loss, theft, accident, or disturbance to gate attendant; and

      (b) Turn in all found property to gate attendant.


      (21)(a) A camper shall not deface or damage park property.

      (b) Failure to comply with paragraph (a) of this subsection may result in arrest, fine, or eviction from the park property.


      (22) All visitors shall sign in and out, display a visitor pass, and obey all campground rules.


      (23) More than two (2) visitor passes shall not be issued per site.


      (24)(a) A camper or a camper’s guest shall not engage in fighting; threatening or abusive language; or lewd acts, or conduct that causes public inconvenience, annoyance, alarm, unreasonable noise, or is disturbing to campground patrons.

      (b) Failure to comply with paragraph (a) of this subsection may result in arrest, fine, or eviction from the park property.

Section 2. Sanctions. A person identified by the park manager as being in violation of this administrative regulation may:

      (1) Have his or her permit revoked. If the permit is revoked pursuant to this subsection, the permit fee shall be nonrefundable;

      (2) Have his or her four (4) wheeler, all terrain vehicle, utility type vehicle, moped, golf cart, horse trailer, or similar vehicle towed to the nearest licensed towing facility; and

      (3) Be removed from the park premises. (1 Ky.R. 756; eff. 5-14-75; Am. 5 Ky.R. 549; eff. 2-7-79; 15 Ky.R. 2103; eff. 4-26-89; 27 Ky.R. 1545; 2127; eff. 2-15-2001; 32 Ky.R. 1925; 2267; eff. 7-7-06; 34 Ky.R. 855; 1414; eff. 1-4-2008; 38 Ky.R. 2002; 39 Ky.R. 466; eff. 10-5-2012; TAm. 5-9-2013.)