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 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).
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.
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.