The Best Ways to Spend Your Weekend in Carter County

The Best Ways to Spend Your Weekend in Carter County

fun Things to do in carter county ky

Grayson Lake State Park



Grayson Lake State Park boasts 74.2 miles of shoreline and scenic canyons, making it one of the best tourist locations in Carter County, KY. The marina, open all year and located 3 miles from the park, has fishing boats and pontoon boats available for daily rentals. There is bait and groceries available for purchase, as well as restrooms for your convenience.

Canoeing and Kayaking

Bring your own canoe or kayak and take it out on the lake surrounding Grayson Lake State Park for a fun-filled day. The area is lined with cliffs, coves, and waterfalls and provides a fantastic scene.


Grayson Lake is home to largemouth and smallmouth bass, bluegill, crappie, and catfish. You can purchase a Kentucky Fishing License at the Campground Ticket Booth. If you need equipment, it is available to be checked out at no charge. The Campground Booth is open from April 1st until October 31st.


Grayson Lake State Park is home to the Hidden Cove Golf Course and is rated #4 by Golf Digest. The back tees at 7,155 yards are sure to be a challenge to skilled golfers, while other sets of tees are offered to golfers of all ages and abilities.


The Beech-Hemlock Forest Trail offers an impressive variety of plant life and rock formations. Be sure to visit the Lizard Head Rock along your travels! There is another trail for more experienced hikers, a 3-mile trek known as Lick Falls Trail. Grayson Lake State Park has some of the best hiking in Carter County KY!


Two large picnic areas are available for rental, as well as three playgrounds to ensure hours of entertainment for the whole family.

Carter Caves State Resort Park


Gem Mining

Located inside the Welcome Center Gift Shop, there are a variety of unique and beautiful gemstones to discover! Mining is available during regular business hours, April through November.


There are several excellent birding opportunities throughout the park, especially within the mature forests around the campgrounds, the cottage area, the Box Canyon Trail and the short trail to Carter Caves Natural Bridge.


Bring your own canoe to see all the wonderful sights from out on the 45-acre Smokey Lake.

Cave Exploration

Carter County has the highest concentration of caves in all of Kentucky. Two of the park’s caves have guided tours year-round; the Cascade Cave and X-Cave.

Equine Camping

Carter Caves State Resort Park hosts 8 pull-through campsites designed for horse owners and they feature electric, water, and sewer hookups. Horse campers have access to all amenities, including bathhouses, laundry areas, and playgrounds.


Home to Kentucky’s first trophy bass lake, Smokey Valley Lake also offers largemouth bass, catfish, and crappie. A fishing license is required and is available for purchase at the front desk. A loaner program is also available if you forgot your fishing pole or other equipment.


Carter Caves State Resort Park has 26 miles of wooded nature trails, ranging from easy to difficult. Guests are welcome to bring their mountain bikes if they wish.

Horseback Riding

From 10AM-6PM, guided rides are available and they last about 45 minutes. Guided horseback rides are available daily through September.

Mini Golf

Mini golf is offered seasonally and is a favorite for children and adults alike. Clubs and balls are available at the campground registration building and the Lodge front desk.


Two rental shelters are available, complete with picnic tables, grills and playgrounds.


Grayson Game Refuge Area

GPS Info: (Latitude, Longitude):
38.25333, -82.98528
38°15’12″N, 82°59’7″W

Directions: From Huntington, WV, travel west on I-64 approximately 28 miles to Exit 172, or from Lexington, KY, travel east on I-64 approximately 93 miles to Exit 172.

From Exit 172, proceed south on KY Route 7 approximately 8 miles. KY Route 7 passes over Grayson Dam; after passing over the dam, take the first right onto lower access road to go to Picnic Shelter 4. To reach Shelters 1, 2, and 3, take the first left onto Launch Ramp Road.


Hidden Cove Golf Course

314 Grayson Lake Park Rd
Olive Hill, KY 41164-7888

Grayson Lake

314 Grayson Lake Park Road
Olive Hill, KY 41164

Weekend Markets (Open Seasonally)

Carter County Farmers Market

94 Fairground Drive
Grayson, KY 41143

Carter County Flea Market

4101 S St Rt 7
Grayson, KY 41143

Places to Eat