in Campground Review, Doing more, Guest blog, On the road, The State We're In

Psssst. We Found a Hidden Camping Gem in KY. Don’t Tell Anyone!

If you’re traveling across Kentucky on I-64, looking for a place to rest for a night or two, check out Lake Shelby Campground, just north of Shelbyville, KY. It might not be for the faint of heart, but it definitely has a lot of heart.

source: Google

The first thing you need to know is that it is small (10 RV spots; tent camping available), and access is along a narrow county park road. We made it in with The Toad, our 38’ 5th wheel plus bike rack on the rear, but it was tight. I would not recommend this park for RVs longer than ours.

The second thing you need to know is that hookups are water and 30-amp electric only, which rules out a lengthy stay for some folks. There is a dump station on the access road into the park.

Third thing? $20/night, cash and checks only. Be prepared with the correct payment method.

Oh, and there’s no wifi. Be prepared for that too. Our AT&T calling and data worked fine.

Plus, the spaces are set really close together, so you’ll get to know your neighbors.

That’s us, second from the right, with the BFT parked directly across the lot.

But…

We stayed there for a week and loved it! Are you now wondering why?

Because we were willing to accept all the things above, which others might consider shortcomings, as perfectly acceptable trade-offs for a spot that backed right up to a lake, with serene views, easy access to a paved urban trail and a 9-hole golf course, and a friendly, down home feel that we very much appreciated.

The RV pads are located along one side of the parking lot at this combined city/county park, so local folks come and go all day to take advantage of the playground, boat launch, nature trails, boat rental, fishing holes, bird watching opportunities, and picnic areas.

However, the park closes at dusk, which means that all the non-campers leave the premises for the night. Even though we were there during Spring Break week and the following weekend, we heard far more noise from the resident flock of geese than we did from any families that had come to enjoy a day of outdoor activities.

There are a couple of communal fire pits and picnic tables for campers to share, and there’s also a bath house that’s a little on the rustic side. We did not make use of the showers ourselves as we prefer our own, but other reviews indicate that they are clean and that hot water is plentiful.

There are also tent sites for those who want to get even closer to nature on their visit to this park, which is not just family friendly but pet friendly too.

You know what this is, right?
It’s an Old Kentucky Home.
~giggle~

I think you’ll see from my photos why we found Lake Shelby Campground so enjoyable. We stayed there for the first week of April 2017, and learned that springtime in central Kentucky is almost too beautiful for words.


Lake Shelby Campground: Just the Facts

  • 35 miles east of Louisville, 25 miles west of Frankfort
  • about 9 miles north of I-64
  • GPS coordinates 38.232395, -85.220067
  • 14333 Burks Branch Road, Shelbyville KY 40065
  • (502) 633-5069
  • water and 30A electric only, dump station on site
  • bathrooms and showers
  • NO wifi or laundry
  • Campground website

Author’s notes:

A version of this post appears at Heartland RVs. It is printed here with permission.

This is an independent review, and we received no compensation from Lake Shelby Campground.

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