fly fishing at Otter Creek

Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area


​​​​​​ PURCHASE ​​​HERE​​​​


​Hours of Operation​

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

Area Hours:

Open Year-Round from dawn to dusk. ​

Contact Info

Main Office:

Campground Info and Reservations:

For Trail closure information, water conditions on Otter Creek and other info pertinent to fishing call the Trail Status Hotline:

Additional Info:

Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area


The Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area, located in Meade County just 30 minutes from downtown Louisville, offers spectacular vistas of the Ohio River as well as opportunities for hunting, fishing, and numerous other outdoor recreational opportunities.

Founded by the National Park Service in 1934 as a recreational area for residents of Louisville and neighboring towns, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife has operated the 2,261-acre property since 2011.​

Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area

​​Recreational Area Fees​

Open Year-Round, Dawn to Dusk. All permits must be purchased online.

Admission Fees:

  • Free admission for Children aged 12 and under.
  • $3 per person for a daily entry permit, available online.
  • $30 per person for an annual entry permit, available online.
  • Fees are subject to change without notice.

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 a ​daily permit (Including an additional $3 entry fee), available online.
  • $70 per person for an annual special activity permit, available online.
  • Fees are subject to change without notice


Open April 1 to October 31

Reservations are encouraged and available by calling (502) 492-9854. Reservations are only taken ​Wednesday through Sunday between the hours of 9 a.m. through 4 p.m. (EST​).


Campground Rules:​

    1. ​The area outside of the campground is closed between sunset and sunrise.
    2. Check-in and check-out are 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 thru Sunday in-season between 9 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. 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 48-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 the 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 dashboard.
    8. Campers are limited: 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 reservations 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 within the campground's boundaries.
    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 the 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 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. Children aged 7 and under must be accompanied by an older sibling or guardian.
    23. No bike riding after dark.
    24. 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.
    25. 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.
    26. Horses are restricted to the equestrian portion of the campground and must have all applicable papers, including a negative Coggins.
    27. 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.
    28. Please help us keep Otter Creek ORA clean and dispose of your trash properly. Campsites should be free of garbage and litter. Do not burning of garbage in the fire rings. All gear, equipment, trash and debris should be removed from the campsite upon departure. 
    29. No smoking within 50 feet of camp store, bathhouses, cabins, playgrounds or pavilions.
    30. 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.

​ 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
Tent/community water$12
​* Fees are subject to change without notice. ​

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.

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

  • Reservation Required. Walk-ins are welcome on a 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

  • Reservation Required. Walk-ins are welcome on a 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 the 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
    • The 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 is 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.​
    • 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.