Sailing Destination – North KY Lake

Great Place to Get Away and Relax!

First time there – though it was my fiancé’s second. Loved it so much – rebooked for next year at check out. Nice – well kept resort and marina – quiet – with great views of the lake – and especially the sun sets!! All the employees there were so nice and helpful. We had a package delivered while staying there – they called to let us know it was there! We docked our boat, docks were really nice. Short walking distance to the town which is quaint and loaded with fun shops to go into. And places to eat, grocery store, bank and ice cream shop! Some outside activities for kids – goofy golf, bikes, etc. The cottages are so well kept, fully stocked kitchen. We took our own food, cooked and you have your own private grill outside your cottage. Day we were leaving we ran into some regular clients who stay the who summer – all very nice and friendly! We are living to go back next year.

Butler, Pennsylvania


Kentucky Dam Village Marina & Restaurant
This state park marina has a dock for patrons using the restaurant. They have a full menu and a daily buffet with buffalo featured a couple times each year. You will find the finger pier to the far right after you pass through the break wall. The marina is close to the dam on the west side of the lake. The offset break wall entrance can be identified by a large blue anchor just to the left of the cut. Overnight dockage is not allowed at the restaurant pier.


Sledd Creek
There are no services in this bay located directly across the lake from Lighthouse Landing. Some private residences occupy the north side of the bay, but the south side is undeveloped. The short 2 mile trip across the lake makes this a great first or last night anchorage. The large area to the left after you enter the bay has good protection from prevailing southwest winds and good depth and bottom for easy anchoring.


Cow Bay
Again on the west side of the lake and about 2 1/2 miles due south of Lighthouse Landing, this unnamed bay is another favorite for the beginning or end of a charter. It is directly across the lake from a prominent microwave tower which is located about 3/4 of a mile south of the canal to Barkley Lake. The best over night anchorage is toward the back and to the right hand side of the bay. Like most of the areas on Kentucky Lake, the bottom is clay and your primary danforth anchor set off the bow is all that is needed for a secure nights stay. You will probably be awakened by the cows drinking at waters edge in the early morning (hence the name). When entering and leaving use the north side of the mouth of the bay. There is a serious shoal in front of this bay. If you cross anywhere near the middle or south of the entrance you will run aground and, if all else fails, you can arrange for a tow by calling us on VHF channel 16 during normal business hours.


Lunch Stops
O’Brien Branch and Nickell Cove are the first two bays south of the canal on the LBL side. Each Bay is a good place to drop the lunch hook, but not a great place to spend the night.


Moss Creek
This is the first bay in the LBL to offer good protection for overnight anchorage. This bay is directly in the Hillman Ferry Campground, so there is a lot of activity here. There is also a sand beach, small dock and bath house close by. All facilities are for the use of registered campers. Your best bet for an anchorage is in the finger to the left and not in front of the beach where a lot of fishing boats come through going to and from the launch ramp. Millfoil (seaweed) sometimes grows in this area and can be a nuisance by clogging your engine cooling intake or filter.


Pisgah Bay
While Pisgah Bay is about 1 1/2 miles long and has good protection and holding ground, it might be passed up for some of the other large bays further south. The drawback is the presence of two campgrounds, Hillman Ferry and Pisgah Point, and two boat launching ramps. Both of these factors generate a lot of power boat traffic, especially on weekends and holidays. Either the northwest or southeast ends will have good water depth and bottom for anchorage. The wind direction will dictate which end you choose in heavy weather. The quieter, more secluded spot is the southeast end.


Moors Marina & Restaurant
Strictly a power boat marina, this is a good source for ice in this part of the lake. They also have a family style restaurant that serves a good breakfast buffet on weekends. As with any foreign marina, you should contact them on VHF channel 16 when you enter the harbor to get instructions and permission to tie up or anchor. Use the secondary or cross channels when going to Moor’s Marina. As is indicated on the chart, the west side of the lake has some shallow water that should be avoided. The town of Birmingham was relocated from this site when the lake was constructed. Unfortunately, some of the concrete steps and foundations remain. Navigate this area only in the channels.


Smith Bay
At mile 32 on the LBL side Smith is a large bay offering some good anchorage’s and relative seclusion. Enter at the south or middle of the bay to avoid a small shoal on the north shore of the entrance. During lower water periods there is a natural sand beach on the south shore just around the point from the day marker. Near the beach, and the finger on further back are both good anchorages. A finger by the day mark on the north shore is also a small lake access camping area. There are normally only a hand full of campers using this campground. The North South hiking trail can be accessed along the shore of the back 1/3 of this bay.


Duncan Bay
Over half a dozen great spots to drop the hook for the night. You could spend your entire charter overnighting in this bay and stay at a different place each night. Take the north side of the entrance wide to avoid the shoal there. Once in the bay the choice is yours. There are no campgrounds or lake accesses in Duncan Bay. If someone is already in a good spot, just move to another. Like Smith, Duncan is a winter wildlife sanctuary. It is not unusual to see deer and other animals watering there. Great blue heron are plentiful in the area and can stir your imagination with their prehistoric squawk.


Sugar Bay
Entering this bay on the south side will put you over a shoal area that is a problem in lower water. The only other area of concern is also only a problem when the water is a couple feet below summer pool. There is a 350 foot contour that pushes the channel close to the south side of the bay. Once the first finger to the north is off your port beam you are well clear. There are 7 excellent anchorages in this bay, including an open area all the way back in the main bay. A lake access area with associated light camping and boat launch is located in the second finger abut a mile into the bay on the south side. From Sugar Bay the closest facilities will be at Kenlake Marina about 8 miles to the south.


Higgins Bay
The entrance to Higgins shoals is on the more normal down stream or north side of the bay. It is only a problem in low water and is easy to avoid. Ewes Branch is the major finger in Higgins and allows for good protection in most weather. Some milfoil growth occurs in the shallower back parts of this area and should be avoided. An interesting feature in Higgins is the island (at normal pool) at the mouth of Ewes Branch. Exploring this small island will reveal one of many old cemeteries in the Land Between the Lakes area. Another good anchorage is just behind or to the east of the island. During lower water the area between the island and mainland dries out. It is not passable at normal pool.

One of the Best!

My husband and I accidentally found this gem while searching for a short, weekend getaway. We decided to take a chance with it and are so glad we did. The beauty of the lake and marina is breathtaking. Our cottage was 20 feet from the lake. We sat on the deck and enjoyed the peaceful beauty all around us. The cottage came equipped with everything we needed and was super clean. In fact the only meal we ate out was at Patti’s 1880’s Settlement restaurant (which was phenomenal) because we wanted to stay at the cottage and look at the lake! This place is a must to visit and we will definitely go back…SOON!

Fort Mitchell, Kentucky

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