Kentucky Tourism

Rough River Things To Do

Weather Conditions


Choose from lodge or campground locations.


Summer and fall are the best seasons for birding at Rough River. Species that may be seen include shorebirds and waterfowl, colorful spring and summer neotropical migrants, and raptor species. Common year-round sightings include Eastern Bluebirds, swallows, warblers, Northern Cardinals, Blue Jays, American Robins, woodpeckers, Mourning Dove, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Wild Turkey, & Red-tailed Hawks. Fall and winter brings about sightings of the Red-breasted Nuthatch, Dark- eyed Junco, Evening Grosbeak and shorebirds such as the Ring-billed Gull.

There are many good locations for birding throughout the park. Some of the best locations would include the Lake Ridge Nature Trail, the wooded areas near the campground, from the back patio of the lodge down towards the lake, and the open meadows near the lodge. The best way to see certain species including the Bald Eagle and Great Blue Heron is to take our Lady of the Lake II tour. Eagles are also sometimes spotted from the park near the dam and beach area early in the morning.


Rough River Lake is the perfect location for the water sports enthusiast. The marina offers 121 open slips, 29 open houseboat slips, 48 covered slips, and rental pontoon boats. Open May to October. Call for fees. Launching ramp available year-round.


The campground is closed until further notice for dam repair. Sorry for the inconvenience.


The avid angler will delight in the abundance of largemouth, white, and Kentucky bass, bluegill, channel catfish, crappie, and rough fish.

A Kentucky Fishing License is required. Click here to purchase a license online at KY Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Resources.

Forget your gear? No problem. Stop by the lodge front desk and ask about our free fishing loaner program!

Game Room

Located in the lodge, open to lodge & cottage guests.

Gift Shop

The gift shop features a large selection of Kentucky handcrafts, Kentucky Proud food items, and souvenirs.


The Lake Ridge Trail, a one-mile nature trail along the shoreline, links the lodge, marina and cottage areas. This is a great trail for bird watching and offers beautiful lake views. For a quiet walk in the woods, the Army Corps of Engineers maintain a self-guided interpretive trail, the Folklore Trail which is a 0.7 mile loop and includes an old pioneer cabin.

Miniature Golf

A beautiful miniature 18-hole golf course near the lodge provides family entertainment. Seasonal.


Orienteering is a sport in woods navigation where a person uses a map and compass to complete a course. It can be done by yourself or with your family. It is a great way to spend part of the day discovering new parts of the park! Rough River Dam State Resort Park offers a 3.8 km permanent orienteering course featuring 13 controls (check points) in a mixed forest and park-like setting. You can get your map by clicking here or visiting the park gift shop.


Perfect picnic outings are in store at Rough River Dam. Tables, grills, and playgrounds are located throughout the park and a picnic shelter near the beach is available for rental up to three years in advance.


Playgrounds are located throughout the park.


Shuffleboard courts are located on the lodge patio. Equipment is available for check out at lodge desk.


A pool is available for lodge and cottage guests. Or enjoy the gentle waves of Rough River on the public beach, serviced with a bathhouse. Seasonal.


Meet your opponent on the court for a game of tennis. Three tennis courts are near the beach; one tennis court is lighted. Two tennis courts and a volleyball court are also located in the camping area. Sports equipment is available for check out at lodge desk.


One volleyball court is located in the camping area and a sand volleyball court is located at the beach. Sports equipment is available for check out at lodge desk.