Department of Parks
Canoe and Cave Tours at Carter Caves State Resort Park
OLIVE HILL, Ky. – Carter Caves State Resort Park offers adventures both above and below ground this summer with canoe trips and cave tours.
Nearly every culture, from the ancient Pacific Islanders to the Native Americans, has searched for a way to explore on water using a humble canoe. Why not join this noble and historical tradition by partaking in a Smoky Lake canoeing adventure at Carter Caves State Resort Park?
Smoky Lake, located on the park, offers a leisurely 45 acres of breathtaking scenery and playful wildlife. Experienced and enthusiastic guides lead these canoe trips almost daily during the summer months. You can call the park at 606-286-4411 to find out the scheduled dates and times.
The park provides canoes, paddles, and life-vests. To join in on the fun, you just need to bring your sense of adventure, sunscreen, bottled water, sunglasses, and a hat. All participants under 50 pounds must bring their own life-vest, and anyone 15 or under needs to be accompanied by an adult.
The canoe trips, which leave from the Welcome Center, cost $10 for adults (13 & up), and $5 for children (3-12). The park provides a shuttle to the lake, but a 1-mile drive may be required if the shuttle is full.
Guests can sign-up for trips at the Carter Caves Welcome Center. For more information, call 606-286-4411 ext. 2543.
If you’d rather take your adventure underground, Carter Caves State Resort Park is still offering guided commercial cave tours of Cascade Cave and X-Cave. Tours run seven days a week starting at 9:30 a.m. Purchase your tickets at the Welcome Center.
New this summer is a guided flashlight tours of X-Cave. These will be the final tour of the cave each day. Participants should bring their own flashlight.
The park is also offering a lantern tour of Cascade Cave, which provides a different look than other tours with electric lights.
For more details, visit www.parks.ky.gov/findparks/resortparks/cc/
Carter Caves’ Bat Cave, Saltpeter Cave and Laurel Cave are currently closed due to White Nose Syndrome, a disease that is killing bats. (This disease has not been reported in Kentucky) These caves are home to 65 percent of the hibernating Indiana Bats, a federally endangered species, found in the state of Kentucky. If White Nose Syndrome makes it to Carter Caves it could be devastating to the Indiana Bat population. (The disease does not effect humans.)
In order to help prevent the spread of this disease to these important Indiana Bat populations, Bat Cave, Saltpeter Cave and Laurel Cave are closed. The park is still conducting public tours of Cascade Cave and X-Cave during the year.
Carter Caves State Resort Park is located at 344 Caveland Drive in Olive Hill, Ky. The park has a lodge with a restaurant, cottages and campground. Besides cave tours, activities include hiking, swimming, boating and fishing.
The park is located off Interstate 64 at exit 161. Take U.S. 60 east. Go approximately 2 miles and turn left on KY 182 north. The park entrance is 3 miles from the left turn onto KY 182 north.
The Kentucky State Park System is composed of 52 state parks plus an interstate park shared with Virginia. The Department of Parks, an agency of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, operates 17 resort parks with lodges -- more than any other state. For more information on Kentucky parks, visit our Web site at http://www.parks.ky.gov