Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area Brochure
Hours of Operation
Open Wednesday - Sunday from dawn to dusk. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays except on holidays (the area is closed on New Year's Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day).
Office Hours: Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Office Telephone Number: 502-942-9171
Campground Info from April 1 - October 31: 502-492-9854
Trail Status Hotline: 502-942-5052 - Trail closure information, water conditions on Otter Creek and other info pertinent to fishing.
- Children under 12 admitted free
- $3 per person for daily entry permit, available at the gate
- $30 per person for annual entry permit, available online
Special Activity Fees:
- Additional charge to all visitors, including children under 12, for horse trails, mountain bike trails and shooting ranges
- $7 per person for daily permit (in addition to $3 entry fee), available at the gate
- $70 per person for annual permit, available online
Please note: The campground is open with a manned staff from April 1 through October 31 each year. Camping allowed throughout the rest of the year, but all check-ins must be done at the entrance gate or office. Reservations for electric sites for 2015 will be taken beginning December 1, 2014.
Milk snake at Otter Creek
- Electrical sites may be reserved by calling 502-492-9854 between the hours of 9am-4pm Monday through Friday. Any electrical sites not reserved will be available on a first come, first serve basis. Water only or primitive sites are available on a first come, first serve basis.
- Campers with reservations must check-in by 6:00pm. If not present by that time or they have not contacted the campground manager (502-492-9854) by that time, the sites will be available on a first come, first serve basis
- Campers must register at entrance gate to the campground and shall receive a campground car tag by the gate attendant.
- If camper is allowed to select a site of their choice, they shall return immediately to the gate and identify their chosen site.
- Campers shall be limited to two tent units or one camper and one tent unit per site, with the exception of the Buddy sites where 3 campers and 3 tents maybe present or 6 tents (no campers) if all 3 sites are reserved.
- A camper may not change sites, unless permission is given by the campground manager.
- Campers may not homestead. Campers can only stay 30 days at one time.
- Check out time will be 2:00pm
- Quiet hours for the campground will be 10:00pm to 7:00am
- Visitors must check in at the campground gate and will receive a visitor pass that must be displayed on their windshield. Visitors must be parked in campsite spaces or overflow area.
- If vehicles or tents will be left unattended for more than 24 hours the campground manager must be notified.
- The general admission fee ($3.00) is waived for campers, however, the special activity fee ($7.00) for mountain biking, horseback riding, and the shooting ranges must be purchased.
Andy Mills, Meade County Extension Agent working to put in food and wildflower plots
- No motorized all-terrain or off-highway vehicles will be allowed. Golf carts can be used in the campground, but drivers must be a licensed driver.
- Special events on the area, after the area closes at dark, must be approved by the area manager.
- Campers shall not hang lanterns on trees or shrubs, drive objects into trees, or trench or dig in the campground.
- A camper may be asked to move to facilitate maintenance such as water line repairs.
- Fires shall be restricted to fire rings or grills.
- Picnic tables may not be moved from site to site.
- Dogs must be on leash and campers will be required to clean up after their pets.
- All sewage and gray water will be disposed of at the sewage disposal site.
- Firewood must be gathered in the campground area only or purchased at check in station. No outside firewood is allowed due to the potential of spreading the Emerald Ash Borer. No trees maybe cut down for firewood.
- Front gate code will change every Tuesday morning. Campers are responsible to come to check in station to retrieve the new code.
- No bike riding after dark.
|Type of site
|** Ice and LP tank exchange available on-site.|
Available electric/water sites
View campground map
- Buddy sites A, B, and C
The other electrical sites had to be abandoned due to safety and code concerns. They will be replaced in the future.
Addition of new cabins
We now have 4 cabins that each have 7 bunk beds and sleeps 14, refrigerator, table, chairs, heat ($5 per pet for entire stay). Reservations taken.
$80 per night
$140 for Friday/Saturday ($70/night)
$200 for 3 day weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) ($66.6/night)
There is also a 1 primitive cabin available first come first served. No reservations needed. No heat or electric.
$50 per night
$90 for Friday and Saturday
Current Recreational Activities
- Area includes five miles of Otter Creek and frontage along the Ohio River.
- Trout will be stocked in Otter Creek three times in the spring and a fourth time in October.
- A seasonal catch-and-release season for trout planned from October through the end of March.
- Anglers must possess a valid entry permit and have an appropriate fishing license and permit, if applicable.
- Spring squirrel hunting available under statewide season.
- Hunters must possess a valid entry permit and have valid hunting licenses and permits, if applicable.
- Opportunities planned in fall for small game, furbearer, deer and turkey hunting.
- Quota firearm hunts planned for deer, in addition to separate archery and crossbow seasons.
- See the Kentucky Hunting and Trapping Guide (available in July) for more information.
- Hiking is allowed on all trails.
- Horseback Riding
Horseback riding is allowed on the Red Cedar Trail (RCT) and the Boone Hollow Trail (BHT).
Please note: To participate in horseback riding at Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area, you must provide your own horses.
- Mountain Bike Riding
- Mountain biking is allowed on the Otter Creek Trail (OCT) and the Valley Overlook Trail (VOT).
- Archery Range
- The 3-D archery range is up and running.
- Rifle Range
- Disc Golf
- Disc golf is a disc game in which individual players throw a flying disc into a basket or at a target. According to the Professional Disc Golf Association, "The object of the game is to traverse a course from beginning to end in the fewest number of throws of the disc."
- Carry-down launch ramp at Ohio River for canoes, kayaks, and small boats
- Groups holding events of 30 people or more must apply in advance for an event permit. Call 502-942-9171 to apply for an event permit.
- Motorized off-roading is not allowed on the area.
Directions to Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area from:
Travel East on US-60 to KY -144, turn left onto KY-144 and travel approximately 30 miles. At the intersection of KY 144 and KY 79 turn left and follow KY 79 for 2.4 miles. At the intersection of KY 79 and KY 1051 turn right on to KY 1051. Follow KY 1051 and then merge to the right onto KY 448. From KY 448 you will travel approximately 2 miles to the intersection of KY 448 and KY 1638. Turn left onto KY 1638 and follow it 5 miles to the entrance of the area on the left.
Travel North on US 31W to the intersection of US-31W and HWY 1638. Turn left onto HWY 1638 and follow it approximately 4 miles to the entrance of the area on the right.
Take I-64W to Exit 19A, to KY 841 South, Gene Snyder Freeway. Take the US-31W/US-60 exit, EXIT 1, toward FORT KNOX/LOUISVILLE. Turn LEFT onto DIXIE HWY/US-31W S/US-60 W. Continue to follow US-31W S/US-60 W. Turn RIGHT onto KY-1638 and follow it approximately 4 miles to the entrance of the area on the right.
Follow DIXIE HWY/US-31W S/US-60 W to the intersection of US-31W S and KY-1638. Turn RIGHT onto KY-1638 and follow it approximately 4 miles to the entrance of the area on the right.
View Printable Map
History of Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area
- The National Parks Service selects 3,000 acres of beautiful land in Meade County, Ky., to serve as a recreational area for residents of Louisville and neighboring towns. (Today, the park’s acreage is 2,600, after land swaps with Ft. Knox.)
- Otter Creek Park opens to the public.
- The first camp at Otter Creek Park is built and leased by the YMCA to become Camp Piomingo.
- In recognition of the city's service during World War II, the Federal Government endows Otter Creek Park to the City of Louisville.
- President Ford transfers 197 acres of surplus land from Fort Knox military reservation to the City of Louisville to be added to Otter Creek Park.
- Otter Creek Park builds a disc golf course.
- Otter Creek Park becomes a Division of Louisville Metro Parks.
- A new master plan is adopted for Otter Creek Park. The plan was developed by a task force chaired by former Louisville Mayor Frank Burke.
- Dec. 2008
- The city of Louisville announced that the park, which loses $500,000 annually, would close to the public on December 14, 2008 due to budget cuts. This closing date was amended to January 1.
- June 2010
- Gov. Steve Beshear and Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson announced that Otter Creek Park will be reopened in 2011 as an outdoor recreational area operated by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, an agency of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet.
- Winter 2010
- The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources initiated the process of transferring and converting Otter Creek Park into The Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area. Titles, deeds, surveys and boundaries assessments were part of this process.
- Late Winter 2010
- Physical inspections and assessments were initiated as to the condition of all facilities including buildings, signs, electricity, water, gates, roadways, parking areas, trails and access points to Otter Creek and the Ohio River. Since the 2008 closure, there has been minimal maintenance at the facility that also experienced severe damage from the 2009 ice storm.
- Fall 2010
- KDFWR meets with various user groups and conducts the Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area web-based survey. Over 4000 surveys were completed representing over 13,000 household members.
- March 2011
- Area use regulations and fee structures are established. First opening weekend of May 14th determined.
- April 2011
- Annual passes available for purchase and first annual pass sold on KDFWR web site http://fw.ky.gov
The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources receives no money from the state’s general fund. Agency funding is supported by Sportsmen and Sportswomen every time they purchase a hunting or fishing license; buy a firearm, ammunition, or fishing or archery equipment; pay boat registration fee; buy fuel for your boat; donate via the Kentucky state income tax check off to the Nature and Wildlife Fund.
Looking for Amphibians
Working on the Horse Trails
Deer and Bird
Andy Mills, Meade County Extension Agent working to put in food and wildflower plots
Rachel Pollack and Todd McKinney assisting with setting up a reptile and amphibian survey
Milk Snake at Otter Creek
Troop 128 Fort Knox (Boy Scouts) constructing bow racks at our range
Atherton YMCA Club
Cabbage Settlement House trip