fly fishing at Otter Creek

Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area

​​​​​​​​​​ Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area


Admission Fees:

  • Children under 12 admitted free
  • $3 per person for daily entry permit, now available online or at gate (when staffed).
  • $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), now available online or at gate (when staffed).
  • $70 per person for annual special activity permit, available online


Reservations may be made Wednesday - Friday between 9am and 5pm by calling (502) 492-9854.

Walk-ins are welcome but must check in between 9am and 5pm, Wednesday-Sunday.

Hours of Operation

Office Hours:
Wednesday - Sunday, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Open Wednesday - Sunday from dawn to dusk. (Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays except on Memorial Day, Labor Day and Fourth of July.)

2022: The area is closed on the state holidays of:

  • Friday & Monday, Dec. 23, 26 - Christmas
  • Friday & Monday, Dec. 30, Jan. 2 - New Year's

2023: The area is closed on the state holidays of:

  • Thursday & Friday, Nov. 23, 24 - Thanksgiving
  • Monday & Tuesday, Dec. 25, 26 - Christmas
  • Friday & Monday, Dec. 29, Jan. 1 - New Year's

Contact Info

Main Office:

Campground Info and Reservations:

Trail Status Hotline:
(Trail closure information, water conditions on Otter Creek and other info pertinent to fishing)

Additional Info:

Campground Rules:

    1. The area outside of the campground is closed between sunset and sunrise and on Monday and Tuesday.
    2. Check-in and check-out is at 12:00 P.M. Quiet hours are 11:00 P.M. until 7:00 A.M.
    3. Electrical sites, electrical cabins, and equestrian sites may be reserved by calling 502-492-9854 Wednesday-Sunday between 9am and 4:30pm. Any electrical sites not reserved will be available on a first come, first serve basis.
    4. All sites are reserved as-is. Only Water and Electric sites are guaranteed picnic tables. Do not move picnic tables off sites
    5. With a 24 hour notice you can cancel your reservation and we will credit your account and hold the full amount of your reservation.
    6. Campers must register at campground booth upon arrival. There they will receive their paperwork and receipts, or further instruction. If you decide to stay extra nights, you must pay before 12:00 P.M. on your check-out date.
    7. Please display your car tag on the dash board.
    8. Campers are limited to: two tents per site, or one camper and one tent per site, 8 people and 2 vehicles.
    9. A camper may not change sites unless given permission by area staff.
    10. There is a 14 day maximum stay within any 30-day period. A camper shall not homestead.
    11. All new reservation must be paid in full at the time of the reservation.
    12. The special activity pass ($7) must still be purchased by campers for mountain biking, horseback riding, and the ranges.
    13. No all-terrain, or off highway vehicles are allowed in the campground or area. Golf carts may be used in the campground only by a licensed driver. Golf carts are prohibited outside of the campground.
    14. Alcohol and Fireworks are prohibited.
    15. Hunting, discharging firearms and Archery are all prohibited with in the boundaries of the campground.
    16. A camper shall not deface or damage KDFWR property. This includes destruction, injury, defacement, removal or alteration of vegetation, rocks and minerals. Failure to comply may result in arrest, fine or eviction from property.
    17. Fires must be kept in a fire ring, Attended at all times and completely extinguished at departure.
    18. No outside firewood is allowed, this to prevent the spread of disease. Firewood may be gathered from dead/fallen trees within the bounds of the campground only. Use of chainsaws of any type is prohibited.
    19. All sewage and gray water must be disposed of at the sewage disposal site.
    20. No washing of dishes in bathhouses. No washing of vehicles or equipment in the campground.
    21. No large swimming pools or large water slides.
    22. The gate code will change every Monday morning. It is the camper’s responsibility to get the code from area staff.
    23. Children ages 7 and under must be accompanied by an older sibling or guardian.
    24. No bike riding after dark.
    25. Campers shall not hang lanterns on trees or shrubs, Drive an object into a tree, shrub, sign, building, or structure in the campground or dig/trench in the campground.
    26. A pet shall: Be kept on a leash or otherwise restrained at all times, Have current inoculations for rabies, not be tied to trees or shrubs, not taken into shower houses, not allowed to disturb other campers and not be left alone in the campground. A camper shall clean up after the camper’s pet. Campers unable to control their pets may be asked to leave.
    27. Horses are restricted to the equestrian portion of the campground and must have Coggins papers.
    28. If you have any issues after hours, please see the Camp Host located by the check in booth. If it is an emergency please call 911.
    29. Please help us keep Otter Creek ORA clean and dispose of your trash properly. Camp sites should be free of Garbage and litter. No burning of garbage in the fire rings, All Gear, equipment, trash and debris should remove from campsite upon departure. Failure to comply will result in camping rights revoked for 30 days on the first offence.
    30. No smoking within 50 feet of camp store, bathhouses, cabins playgrounds or pavilions.
    31. A camper or 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.

    32. Sanctions: A person Identified by the area manager as being in violation of these rules may:

      1. Have their permit revoked with the permit fee not refunded.
      2. Have their vehicle towed to the nearest licensed towing facility.
      3. Be removed from the premises.
      4. Be denied future camping permits.

      Campground Rates

      Type of site Daily rate Weekly rate
      Tent/community water$12
      ** Ice and LP tank exchange available on-site.

      Available electric/water sites

      View campground map

      • A1-A11
      • B1-B34
      • D1-D8
      • D22-D25
      • D27-D43
      • E1-E7, E27, E29, E31, E34
      • F3, F5, F7, F9, F11, F12 (F11, and F12 are Handicap Sites)
      • 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.


      Note: There is a $30 cash cleaning deposit that will be returned at check out

      4 Electric Cabins - open room with 7 twin-size bunk beds that sleep 14 people, refrigerator, table, chairs, AC & Heat, NO WATER

      • Additional $5 charge per pet, per entire stay
      • Reservation Required, walk-ins welcome on first come, first serve basis
        • Rates
          • $70 per night

      1 Primitive Cabin - open room with 8 twin-size bunk beds that sleep 16 people, table, chairs, NO AC, HEAT or WATER

      • Additional $5 charge per pet, per entire stay
      • Reservation Required, walk-ins welcome of first come, first serve basis.
        • Rates
          • $22 per night


      Pine Grove Pavilion - is available for rent for events (i.e. weddings, business functions, family reunions, etc.). Electric is available for use at the pavilion and 3 portable lavatories will be on the site from April to October 31 each year.

      • Rate
        • $200 per day OR
        • Groups under 70 can have their guests pay the $3 entrance fee with no additional charge for rental of the pavilion.

      Cedar Hill Pavilion - is available for public use only. There is no electric or lavatories provided to this pavilion.


      Current Recreational Activities

      • Fishing
        • 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.
      • Hunting
        • 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 in December for deer, in addition to separate archery and crossbow seasons.
        • Small game, furbearer, deer and turkey hunting seasons are available with restrictions.
        • See the Kentucky Hunting and Trapping Guide (available in July) for more information.
      • Hiking
        • 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 with field tip and broadhead targets.
      • Pistol Range
        • Six lanes - 20 Yards
      • Rifle Range
        • Tube Range - 100 Yards
      • 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."

      Please Note:

      • 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:

      Owensboro, KY

      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.

      Elizabethtown, KY

      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.

      Lexington, KY

      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.

      Louisville, KY

      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.


      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

      The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources provides services to all Kentuckians and our visitors, while operating on user fees and related grants.  Licenses, permits, Kentucky Wild memberships, and boating registrations enable us to achieve our mission.  Thank you for investing in fish and wildlife conservation and recreation programs in Kentucky through your purchases.