Paintsville Lake banner


Contact Us

Phone: The Corps of Engineers Resource Manager or Park Ranger can be reached at 606-297-6312 or 297-6323. The State Park Number is 606-297-8486. The Campground Number is 606-297-8488. For Recorded Lake Information, please call 606-297-4111.

Directions: From Route 23 take Route 40 West 1.5 miles to Route 2275, turn right and travel 1 mile to the Paintsville Lake Dam, turn left onto the Dam and travel ½ mile up the hill to the US Army Corps of Engineers, Office/Visitor Center.

Mailing Address: 
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 
Paintsville Lake 
807 Kenutcky Route 2275 
Staffordsville, KY 41256


Reservations, Fees & Passes

Camping is only available at the Paintsville Lake State Park Campground located near the marina. For reservations visit Paintsville Lake State Park

Campground Fee:
$40 per shelter

Day Use Fee:
$100 per day (*Rates may vary across dates)
Picnic shelters are located at the Paintsville Lake State Park. Call 606-297-8486 for reservations. Reservations are not required for 'first come, first serve'.

General Information

Paintsville Lake is a total of 1,139 surface acres. The US Army Corps of Engineers owns a total of 13,156 acres of land surrounding the lake with 57 miles of shoreline. The lake is approximately 18 miles in length.  Paintsville Lake gleams like a jewel in the crown of the mountains of Eastern Kentucky. With steep cliffs and wooded coves along the shoreline.  The lake provides 1,140 acres of boating, skiing and fishing pleasure. After a day on the lake, relax in the campground. For a glimpse into a vanished way of life, visit the Mountain Homeplace. This living history farm recreates Appalachian farm life in the mid-1800s.

Restrooms are located at the Project Office, the Downstream Area, the Emergency Spillway and the Marina.  The Mountain Homeplace Historical Area is located on-site across the Dam.

Mountain Homeplace Historical Area
The Paintsville Tourism Commission, in cooperation with the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, has developed a 19th Century Mountain Homeplace Historical Area at Paintsville Dam. The Historical Homeplace depicts, through a living history, mountain life of Eastern Kentuckians from the time period of 1850-1900. 

Universally Accessible
Universally accessible facilities are provided at the Project Office, the marina restrooms and a handicapped fishing pier. There is a universally accessible fishermen's walkway along the trout stream below the dam.



Bicycles are permitted on roadways. Bicycles are not permitted on the Kiwanis Trail.


Launch ramps for the boating enthusiasts and fishermen are located at the Rocky Knob Recreation Area, 1 mile from the dam, and Open Fork Boat Ramp, 16 miles west, off Route 172.  The Lost Creek and Big Mine Fork boat ramps are accessible from Route 1260 or Route 1437. There is no size limit on boats and motors. Boaters must obey all regulations and maintain responsible control of their craft at all times. Boaters are responsible for any damage caused by the wake (or waves) caused by their boat..


Camping is only available at the Paintsville Lake State Park Campground located near the marina. There are 32 state-of-the-art modern campsites with 50 amp electricity, water and sewer hookups.  10 additional primitive sites have water and a wash house nearby with showers and laundry facilities.


Fish and Wildlife Management is the responsibility of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife. Fishing is allowed from boats and the shoreline at Paintsville Lake.  Largemouth Bass, Trout, Smallmouth Bass, Channel Catfish, Walleye and Redbreast Sunfish have been stocked in the lake. Paint Creek below the dam is stocked monthly, April - November with Rainbow Trout. The Lake itself is stocked annually with Rainbow Trout. Kentucky fishing licenses are required.  For more information on lake and fishing conditions, you can call our Recorded Lake Information number at 606-297-4111. This recording is updated daily.


The Kiwanis Trail head is located across from the Mountain Homeplace Welcome Center. It is a 1.6 mile Scenic Walking Trail. This trail is for foot traffic only. An orienteering course and the Adena Trail, a 7-mile long hiking trail developed by the Boy Scouts, is also available near the dam.

Horseback Riding

Horseback riding is available at Paintsville Lake, but you must provide your own horse. Those who own horses may ride them on the project's forest fire access roads, but not in developed recreation areas. Groups of 10 people or more must obtain a free permit from the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources before arrival.


Hunting is allowed in accordance with state hunting regulations on about 90% of the project.  Deer, turkey, and squirrel are abundant.  Rabbit, grouse and quail hunting is fair.


There is a privately owned marina open to the public 1 mile from the dam at the Paintsville Lake State Park. Pontoon boat rentals, fishing boats, paddleboats and houseboat rentals, restrooms, and restaurant are available. Call 606-297-5253 (297-LAKE).

Shelter Reservations

Picnic shelters are located at the Paintsville Lake State Park. Call 606-297-8486 for reservations. Reservations are not required for 'first come, first serve'.


No developed swimming facilities currently exist. SWIM AT YOUR OWN RISK! Swimmers should be alert to the potential underwater hazards along a lake's shoreline, i.e., large rocks, tree branches, other natural debris and sudden depressions or shallow holes in the floor of the lake. Swimming is prohibited at the dam and within 100 feet of the intake structure (the concrete tower near the dam). Swimming is also prohibited at boat launching ramps. Cliff diving and jumping from cliffs at Paintsville Lake is prohibited.

Visitor Center

The US Army Corps of Engineers Office/Visitor Center is located on the top of the hill after crossing the dam. We have a variety of Brochures and Maps, including information on surrounding recreational areas, as well as many Displays of Wildlife Mounts. Restrooms are also available.  You can contact the Office/Visitor Center at 606-297-6312 for any additional information. Office Hours are Monday thru Friday, 7:30 am to 4:00 pm.  For Recorded Lake Information, please call 606-297-4111.