Home > Missions > Civil Works > Recreation > Lakes > Nolin River Lake

Nolin River Lake

 

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 339
Bee Spring, KY 42207

Physical Address:

2150 Nolin Dam Road
Bee Spring, KY 42207 

(270) 286-4511

E-mail:  lrl-pagemaster-grn@usace.army.mil

Office hours:  M-F, 630 a.m. - 4 p.m. Central Time)  (may vary, call ahead)

Lake Levels  

Lake Temperatures

 

Collapse All Expand All
Nolin River Dam is located about 8 miles above the Confluence of the Nolin and Green Rivers near the community of Bee Spring.  While the dam is located in Edmonson County, the lake also covers portions of Grayson and Hart Counties.  The dam is about 8 miles north of Brownsville, 20 miles from Leitchfield, and 95 miles southwest of Louisville.

The dam was constructed to control flooding on the Nolin and Green Rivers, as part of an overall "Comprehensive Flood Control Plan for the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers".  In 1931, a thorough survey of the area was completed and 7 possible locations for the dam were identified.  The one selected offered the most control of flood waters and was the only one which appeared to offer any possibility of commercially feasible power development.  However, the 1931 conclusion was that construction of this flood control reservoir was not justified at the time.  Following the Ohio River flooding in 1937, construction of an additional 45 reservoirs was recommended, including the Nolin River Reservoir.  Construction was authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1938.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers designed, built, and operates the project to reduce flooding downstream from the dam.

Construction of the operating tower and outlet works began in January 1959 and was completed in July 1961.  Construction of the dam and spillway was begun in June 1961 and completed in May 1963.  The reservoir was placed in complete operation on March 4th, 1963 and minimum pool (480) was reached on March 7th (minimum/winter pool was 10' lower back then--it's 490' now.)  Summer pool was not reached in 1963 due to insufficient runoff.

Total construction cost was $14.5 Million, but the dam has saved over $111 Million in flood damages through 2013. In addition, economic benefits from the lake are between $35 and $45 Million each year.  Visitation averages about 2 million people each year.

In addition to flood control and recreational benefits, the lake also supplies drinking water to the surrounding area, as well as providing fish and wildlife habitat.

The Nolin River is named for the early American explorer and Kentucky militia member, Benjamin Lynn. Serving under George Rogers Clark during the Revolutionary War, Lynn traveled to Illinois to spy on the British and Indian forces, and also played a pivotal role in the Northwest Campaign on 1778-79. Following his return to Kentucky, Lynn and several friends were camped in the Green River Area. Lynn became separated from his friends and could not be found for several days. Each night, they returned from the search reporting “No Lynn.” The river at which they camped became known as the Nolin.

Many of the early settlers in the area around the Nolin River came from Nordic regions which is reflected in community names such as Stockholm and Sweeden. Others came from France, showing influence through community names like Moutardier and Chalybeate. Rich in culture, the local area mirrors history and tradition in small businesses around the lake.

For more information about our lake, please visit:

NOLIN RIVER LAKE FACEBOOK  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nolin-River-Lake-US-Army-Corps-of-Engineers-Louisville-District/190419507651662

FRIENDS OF NOLIN LAKE  http://www.friendsofnolinlake.org/

MOUTARDIER MARINA  http://moodydeer.com/

WAX MARINA  http://waxmarina.com/

NOLIN LAKE STATE PARK  http://parks.ky.gov/parks/recreationparks/nolin-lake/default.aspx

NOLIN LAKE STATE PARK BIKING TRAIL INFORMATION  http://kymba.org/bowlinggreen/?page_id=611

January 1 – New Year’s Day Holiday, OFFICE CLOSED

January 20 – Martin Luther King, Jr’s Birthday (Observed) Holiday, OFFICE CLOSED

February 17 – George Washington’s Birthday Holiday, OFFICE CLOSED

March 15 – Begin Lake Fill for Summer Pool

April 1 – Dog Creek and Iberia Boat Ramps Open

April 19 – Wildflower Walk at Nolin Lake State Park  http://www.friendsofnolinlake.org/events-calendar/wildflower-hikes 

May 2 – Moutardier Campground Opens  http://www.recreation.gov/camping/Moutardier/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=73280&topTabIndex=Search

May 16 – Dog Creek Campground Opens  http://www.recreation.gov/camping/Dog_Creek_Ky/r/campgroundDetails.do?page=details&contractCode=NRSO&parkId=73169&topTabIndex=CampingSpot 

May 16 -- Wax Campground Opens   http://www.recreation.gov/camping/Wax/r/campgroundDetails.do?page=details&contractCode=NRSO&parkId=73472&topTabIndex=CampingSpot 

May 17 – Paddle Nolin  http://www.friendsofnolinlake.org/events-calendar/paddle-nolin

May 26 – Memorial Day Holiday, OFFICE CLOSED

June 21 – Houseboat Hop  http://www.friendsofnolinlake.org/events-calendar/houseboat-hop

June 28 – Summer Splash  http://www.friendsofnolinlake.org/events-calendar/summer-splash

July 4 – Independence Day Holiday, OFFICE CLOSED

August 2 – NolinFest  http://www.friendsofnolinlake.org/events-calendar/nolinfest

August 16 – Fishing Tournament at Moutardier  http://www.friendsofnolinlake.org/events-calendar/fishing-tournament

September 1 – Dog Creek and Wax Campgrounds CLOSE

September 1 – Labor Day Holiday, OFFICE CLOSED

September 20 – Lake Clean-up  http://www.friendsofnolinlake.org/events-calendar/lake-clean-up

October 13 – Columbus Day Holiday, OFFICE CLOSED

October 19 – Moutardier Campground CLOSES

October 31 – Dog Creek and Iberia Boat Ramps CLOSE

November 11 – Veteran’s Day Holiday, OFFICE CLOSED

November 27 – Thanksgiving Day Holiday, OFFICE CLOSED

December 25 – Christmas Day Holiday, OFFICE CLOSED

Nolin has five Corps operated boat ramps.  The Arnold Van Meter aka Site One, located at the dam; Moutardier; and Wax boat ramps are open year round.  The Iberia and Dog Creek boat ramps are open from April 1 until October 31.  In case of extreme variations in the level of the lake, the ramps are subject to closure.

There is a $3 boat launching fee at all Corps operated ramps.  You may also use an Annual Day Use hangtag.  These may be purchased at the Nolin Lake Corps of Engineers Office, or by phone with a credit card.  You may also purchase through the mail using a personal check.  During the camping season, Annual Passes can also be purchased from the campground attendants during normal tollhouse operating hours.  The Annual Passes are $30, good for a year from the month of purchase at any Corps operated boat ramp in the nation.  We do honor Golden Age, Golden Access, and America the Beautiful Senior and Access passes.  These cards entitle the owner to a 50% discount on the first pass.  Additional passes are $30.

Nolin Lake State Park also operates a boat ramp.  There is no fee charged at state operated boat ramps.

Nolin River Lake USACE
2150 Nolin Dam Road
P.O. Box 339
Bee Spring, KY 42207

270-286-4511

The Iberia recreation area provides a public access beach and includes a small shelter for shading.  Swimming in Nolin Lake is permitted except as indicated by posted signs.

In the gentle slopes of South Central Kentucky, the campgrounds on Nolin River Lake have great appeal to the naturalist or those who just want to get away from it all.    The three Corps of Engineers operated campgrounds are Dog Creek, Moutardier, and Wax.

 

Reservations for all Corps operated sites are handled through the National Recreation Reservation Service (NRRS) at their website www.recreation.gov or by calling them toll free at 1-877-444-6777.  You can make reservations for single campsites 6 months in advance of the arrival date.

 

DOG CREEK CAMPGROUND, located in Hart County, offers 70 campsites, 50 with electric and water hookup.  Two sites have been adapted for disabled persons.  The entire campground has easy access to the shoreline.  There is a swimming area located within the campground available to registered campers only and a boat launching ramp and playground adjacent to the campground.  Other amenities include showers, a dump station, group picnic shelter, pit restrooms, and watchable wildlife area.  This campground is open from early May through late September with attendants on duty.  The camping fees range from $14.00 - $22.00 per night.  The campground telephone number is 270-524-5454.  For more information and to make online reservations at the Dog Creek Campground, please use the following link:

http://www.recreation.gov/camping/Dog_Creek_Ky/r/campgroundDetails.do?page=details&contractCode=NRSO&parkId=73169&topTabIndex=CampingSpot

 

MOUTARDIER CAMPGROUND, located in Edmonson County, offers 167 sites, 81 with electric and water hookup.  Two sites have been adapted for disabled persons.  Most of the areas in the campground are rolling hillsides with gentle access to the shoreline.   Some shoreline areas are steep with riprap erosion protection.  There is a boat ramp, playground, and group picnic shelter adjacent to the campground.  Other amenities include showers, a dump station, flush facilities, playgrounds within the campground, public marina, and hiking trails.  This campground is open from mid-April through late October with attendants on duty.  The camping fees range from $14.00 - $22.00 per night.  The campground telephone number is 270-286-4230.  For more information and to make online reservations at the Moutardier Campground, please use the following link:

http://www.recreation.gov/camping/Moutardier/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=73280&topTabIndex=Search

 

WAX CAMPGROUND, located in Grayson County, offers 110 sites, 86 with electric and water hookup.  Two sites have been adapted for disabled persons.  The campground had gentle slopes, with a sloping incline access to the shoreline.  There is a boat ramp, group picnic shelter, and playground adjacent to the campground.  Other amenities include showers, a dump station, flush facilities, playground within the campground, and public marina.  This campground is open from early May through late September with attendants on duty.  The camping fees range from $14.00 - $22.00 per night.  The campground telephone number is 270-242-7578.  For more information and to make online reservations at the Wax Campground, please use the following link:

http://www.recreation.gov/camping/Wax/r/campgroundDetails.do?page=details&contractCode=NRSO&parkId=73472&topTabIndex=CampingSpot

 

 

NOLIN RIVER LAKE CAMPING REGULATIONS

1.  Camping is permitted at designated camping areas with not more than six (6) people or the members of one family unit at any one site. A family unit is considered to be parent(s) and unmarried children living in the same household. No more than two vehicles (excluding trailers) may be parked at the site. Both vehicles must be registered at the tollhouse. The vehicles are to be parked only on the site(s) rented by you, not on adjoining sites. Boat trailers may be parked at nearby parking areas.

 

2.  Campers will register at the tollhouse before occupying the site.

 

3.  Campers will display the user permit on the site identification post and return it to the tollhouse when departing. Checkout time is 4:30 p.m. on the day the permit expires.

 

4.  All visitors will check in at the tollhouse and will be charged a visitor’s fee. Visitors must leave by 9:30 p.m.

 

5.  Gear, equipment, trash, and debris shall be completely removed from the area upon departure.

 

6.  Quiet hours are 10:00 p.m. – 6:00 a.m. The operation or use of any noise-producing devices that unreasonably annoy others at any time is prohibited. The use of properly muffled generators is permitted between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. Individuals who are boisterous, rowdy, disorderly, or otherwise disturb the peace at any time may be requested to leave the campground and forfeit all camping fees paid.

 

7.  Vehicles, tents, trailers, or other equipment will not be placed on grass at sites bordered with railroad ties. Empty boat trailers may be placed on the grass.

 

8.  Fires will be built only in fireplaces or grills. A responsible person must attend to all fires. Hang lanterns on metal holders provided at campsites.

 

9.  Any loaded projectile fire device, ammunition, and explosives of any kind are prohibited in the area except when in the possession of a Government employee or law enforcement officer on official duty. The possession or use of fireworks is prohibited.

 

10.  Pets shall be kept on a leash not over 6 feet long or under physical control at all times. Pets shall not be left unattended.

 

11.  The destruction, injury, defacement, removal, or alternation of Government property, vegetation, rocks, or minerals is prohibited.

 

12.  Motor driven vehicles must conform to state licensing laws and their use will be confined to developed roadways. The use of vehicles will be restricted to ingress or egress of the area by a licensed operator only. The speed limit in the campground is 15 M.P.H.

 

13. No bicycles, skateboards, or scooters are allowed on the sidewalks or steps around shower house facilities or other walkways.

 

 

CAMPSITE GARBAGE DISPOSAL PROCEDURES:

 

Central garbage bins will be used for campsite garbage disposal at Dog Creek, Moutardier, and Wax Campgrounds at Nolin River Lake. The following regulations apply:

 

1. Garbage bags will be supplied for each campsite at the tollhouse during check-in. Additional bags are available upon request.

 

2. Each campsite must be maintained in a clean, unlittered condition. All garbage must be kept in bags and transported to the collection bin when checking out. DO NOT LEAVE BAGS ON THE SITE.

 

3. A separate portion of the collection bin is provided for recycling. Campers are encouraged to separate aluminum cans and use this portion.

 

4. Each campsite is the responsibility of the individual registered at the tollhouse.

 

5. Failure to comply with these regulations may result in a federal citation.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP IN KEEPING

OUR CAMPGROUNDS CLEAN

The Nolin Lake State Park offers a dynamic biking trail, featuring the Waterfall Loop (1.9 miles) and the Omega Loop (2.2 miles).  KYMBA (Kentucky Mountain Biking Association, Kentucky State Parks and the USACE (US Army Corps of Engineers) partnered to design and construct the Brier Creek Trail System.  Work is currently underway to expand the trail to an eventual 9.5 miles of trail, including the Campground Connector, a ½ mile “Beginner” trail.  For more information visit the KYMBA site:  http://kymba.org/bowlinggreen/?page_id=611  For park information, please visit the Nolin Lake State Park webpage:  http://parks.ky.gov/parks/recreationparks/nolin-lake/default.aspx

Nolin River Lake operates five picnic shelters, which are available for reservations by calling the project office at (270) 286‑4511.  Shelters are equipped with lighting and electrical outlets; charcoal grills, water fountains and trash cans are available next to the shelters.  Restroom facilities are located in each area.

The shelters available and the reservation fees are as follows:

DOG CREEK                                   $ 50

MOUTARDIER                              $ 50

WAX                                                $ 50

*TAILWATER                               $ 50 / EACH SIDE

*There are two shelters available for rental at the Tailwater recreation area.

If a shelter has not been reserved for a particular day, tables may be used free of charge, on a first-come, first-served basis.

The NON-REFUNDABLE Reservation Fee is due within two weeks of making the reservation.  If payment is not received within that time, the reservation will automatically be cancelled.

Methods of payment are as follows:

  • Payment can be made at the Nolin River Lake project office, at 2150 Nolin Dam Road, Bee Spring, Kentucky 42207 with cash, check or credit card during regular office business hours.
  • After calling (270) 286-4511 to make a reservation, you may mail a check or money order to the office at USACE-Nolin River Lake, P.O. Box 339, Bee Spring, Kentucky 42207.  A receipt and reservation card will be mailed back to you.

You may also call the office during regular office business hours to make a credit card payment over the phone.  A receipt and reservation card will be mailed to you.

*Campground Host
*Event Participation
*Trail Construction and Restoration
*Vegetation Identification and Cataloging

If you would like an opportunity to volunteer at Nolin River Lake, please contact volunteer coordinator Deryck Rodgers by phone at 270-286-4511 or by e-mail at lrl-pagemaster-grn@usace.army.mil.

Friends of Nolin Lake  http://www.friendsofnolinlake.org/get-involved

KYMBA (Kentucky Mountain Biking Association)  http://kymba.org/bowlinggreen/?page_id=101

Connect with us

Facebook Twitter Email Us