Exploring Carter County

According to a Gallup poll taken recently, in 2017 roughly 62% of Americans took a vacation. It’s the perfect way to get away from your stressful everyday job and grow closer as a family. And what better destination for a family vacation than camping or spending time outdoors?

Carter Caves State Resort Park is a state park located near Olive Hill, Kentucky, and is full of forested hills, gift shops, camping, Carter Caves Cabins, and over 20 caverns running beneath ground. If you are thinking of taking a trip, here are five things to experience in Carter County.

Cave System

The cave system running beneath the state park is the highlight of the Carter Caves. You and your family can stop at the Carter Cave Gem Mine, where you can experience what it is like to mine for gemstones in a flume mine, discovering stones such as Quartz, Obsidian, Crystal Points, Topaz, and Amethyst. Or you can experience the 30-foot underground waterfall located in Cascade Cave.


The park features over 120 different campsites for rv’s, tents, or equine camping. You can also book a stay in Carter Caves Cabins. Or, if you and your family prefer, you can spend your nights in the Carter Caves Lodge, a pet-friendly fieldstone lodge that offers over two dozen rooms and full amenities.

Water Sports

Visit the nearby 45-acre Smokey Lake for all of the water sports your family loves. Whether you want to canoe, fish, kayak, or just hike around the lake. If you love to fish, the lake is full with many varieties including largemouth bass, anglers, bluegill, catfish, and crappie. There is also an outdoor swimming pool available for lodge and cabin guests.

Family Activities

There are tons of fun tourist activities to do in Carter County. The nearby Hidden Cove Golf Course is nestled around the scenic Grayson lake, and offers something for all skill levels, from expert to beginner. A repelling and rock climbing wall gives climbers the chance to test their skills against the resort’s 30-foot sandstone wall. There are over 20 miles of trails winding around the park, where visitors can hike, ride horses, or mountain bike across the beautiful county. There are guided horse-back rides available seasonally, including pony rides for children.

And if that isn’t enough, the surrounding resort offers dozens of entertainments including restaurants, markets, gift shops, parks, picnics, playgrounds, swimming, tennis courts, and live music.

Carter Caves State Park would make a wonderful destination for any family vacation. Whether you want to pitch a tent, or stay in on of their rustic cabins at Carter Caves Cabins, or just visit for a day to explore the cave system, there’s something for everyone.

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