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What’s the Best Lake in Kentucky?

There are over 40 lakes in the state of Kentucky; which is the best?

After spending last weekend on Center Hill Lake, my dream of one day owning a lake house is back in full force. After scrolling through lake houses on Zillow yesterday, I put out a Twitter poll asking you guys what the best lake in Kentucky is. Not surprisingly, it sparked a very lively debate. Lake Cumberland won by a lot, but Twitter only let me list four options, so let’s carry that fun over to today with an expanded version.

Vote for what you believe is the best lake in Kentucky below:

My criteria: clean water, pretty scenery, and nice marinas. Boat drivers that aren’t assholes are a plus. Be ready to defend your pick in the comments.

Let the debate begin…

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

25 Comments for What’s the Best Lake in Kentucky?

  1. knowitall
    11:16 am August 18, 2017 Permalink

    I have been on most of these lakes and all are good, I would have gone with Lake Cumberland but overcrowding is becoming more a problem every year and the number of drunken idiots is also increasing. I went with Cave Run.

  2. Sentient Third Eye
    11:18 am August 18, 2017 Permalink

    By the stated criteria, it has to be Lake Cumberland, but there are a lot of other, different criteria people have (various kinds of fishing, for example).

  3. secrick
    11:19 am August 18, 2017 Permalink

    Dale Hollow by far but please stay at Cumberland.

  4. az1006
    11:30 am August 18, 2017 Permalink

    In my younger days, I was looking for a party, so Kentucky and Cumberland were easily top dogs in that regard. But, nowadays, I prefer clean water and quiet…Dale Hollow wins that.

  5. RealCatsFan
    11:48 am August 18, 2017 Permalink

    Lots of great memories from tooling around on LC. For sheer beauty and endless coves to overnight in, it can’t be beat. But it is getting tough to navigate the lake on a weekend without getting the hell beat out of you if your boat is not 35′ plus. Too many cruisers halfway up on wake creating huge wakes. For a better family experience, Dale Hollow works better.

    Green River is a relatively undiscovered gem that has some scenery similar to Cumberland, but a lot smaller and quieter. For a quick weekend getaway, it has become my choice. Too bad the boat has not been out of the barn all summer. 🙁

  6. meeksfor3
    11:53 am August 18, 2017 Permalink

    I have to agree that there are too many people with huge cruisers plowing through the waters of Cumberland causing havoc for small boats. I’m not sure if they don’t know how to drive a boat or are just that big of a douche to those around them. I have our boat on Cumberland just because I live close but honestly like Dale Hollow better. It’s a more enjoyable experience.

  7. JHFrauenhoffer
    11:56 am August 18, 2017 Permalink

    Lake Herrington is the best lake to contract hepatitis or schistosomiasis or flesh eating bacteria.

    • yoshukai
      12:38 pm August 18, 2017 Permalink

      JHFrauenhoffer , you’re either ignorant or a liar . The state tests all public lakes and rivers water monthly and the results are publicly posted on their website. Herrington lake has NEVER had any restrictions on swimming or fish consumption and is ALWAYS well within the guidelines set by the EPA . So which is it , are you a liar or just ignorant?

  8. katmandue2you
    12:00 pm August 18, 2017 Permalink

    Grew up on Lake Barkley pleasure boating there and on Kentucky Lake. Fishing i would have to give them the nod. For beauty and clean water quality of marinas and general overall ambiance Dale Hollow and Cumberland have to be the leaders. I’ve been to most all these lakes at some point and i voted for Cumberland because it belongs solely to Kentucky, but I’d have to say in my book Dale Hollow and Cumberland are co-numero unos!

  9. BettyBleedsBlue
    12:06 pm August 18, 2017 Permalink

    I love Lake Cumberland but agree that it’s too crowded! Dale Hollow is beautiful and the fishing is better too!

  10. Mjones32
    12:07 pm August 18, 2017 Permalink

    Green River Lake is really nice.

  11. AirRaid98
    12:20 pm August 18, 2017 Permalink

    Cumberland stripers are hard to beat!

  12. Kindsey Bernhard
    12:30 pm August 18, 2017 Permalink


  13. yoshukai
    12:42 pm August 18, 2017 Permalink

    I think being able to have your own private boat dock should have been part of the criteria. Nothing like being able to get in your boat go for a ride and stop and visit at your friends boat dock . LOTS of times a party breaks out!

  14. W.C.
    1:06 pm August 18, 2017 Permalink

    I have seen all but one of the lakes on your list and Green River Lake should be on the list. It is easily ahead of four or five of them. I wont list them and start a debate.

    • 4everUKblue
      4:50 pm August 18, 2017 Permalink

      I grew up near Green River and Dale Hollow and spent a lot of time on both. Green River is too small. Having been on just about every lake in KY, Dale Hollow is by far the best!

  15. stoopstroops
    2:31 pm August 18, 2017 Permalink

    Which lake is pictured above???

  16. ClutchCargo
    2:49 pm August 18, 2017 Permalink

    Aside from holiday weekends, Cumberland is my choice. Dale Hollow is hard to beat anytime.

  17. bcfromky
    2:52 pm August 18, 2017 Permalink

    Ms. Tyler, you’re not far from Dale Hallow Lake. Do yourself a solid and spend some time there.

  18. njCat
    3:15 pm August 18, 2017 Permalink

    Grew up camping and boating on Dale Hollow. Very quiet and beautiful.

  19. 4everUKblue
    4:42 pm August 18, 2017 Permalink

    Dale Hollow is the best, beautiful and cleanest water by far. If you’ve never been there you’re missing out!

  20. 4everUKblue
    4:46 pm August 18, 2017 Permalink

    Buckeyes and Hoosiers ruin the lake experience with their big speed boats. They have no idea what “No Wake” means! They are really bad on Dale Hollow, it was so peaceful before they started coming down.

  21. Bluegrass79
    5:34 pm August 18, 2017 Permalink

    Wood Creek Lake in Laurel County is my #1. This lake holds the record for the largest largemouth bass ever caught in Kentucky. That’s my lake for fishin’ anyway.

  22. BigBlueBass
    5:13 am August 19, 2017 Permalink

    For pure fishing purposes #1 is KY Lake followed by Barkley & Barren. But if you want to look cool & go boat riding Cumberland is probably #1. It all depends on what your perspective of s Great Lake is. I’ll take KY Lake over the rest of the field all day long.