Q: Since Laurel River Lake is jointly managed which office do I contact when I need information? 

A. Both offices can answer basic visitor information about the lake and surrounding area.  If you have questions about the Dam, Spillway Beach or the Laurel Dam picnic area please contact the Resource Manager’s Office at 606-864-6412 or 606-878-6752.  For all other inquiries contact the U.S. Forest Service, London Ranger District at 606-864-4163.

Q: My son's Boy Scout troop is looking for a service project and we want to do something to help the lake, the environment, and public lands and parks. How can we help?

A: We would encourage you to participate in the Annual Laurel Lake Cleanup to be held each year in April or May. Volunteers can be scouts, clubs, families, and individuals who wish to make the lake cleaner and more beautiful by picking up garbage and debris on public lands. For more information, contact the London District, of the Daniel Boone Forest at 606-864-4163.

Q: What is the average depth of Laurel River Lake?

A: The average depth is 65 feet.  The elevation of the lake varies from a winter low of about 1010’ feet above mean sea level to a summer recreation pool of 1015’ msl to a flood storage capacity of 1018.5’ msl.


Q: What is the deepest part of the lake?

A: The deepest part of Laurel Lake is at the Dam at approximately 280’.

Q: I have a houseboat on Laurel Lake, and want to have my sanitary holding tank pumped out.  Where do I go for such services?

A: Laurel Lake is designated as a “No Discharge” lake and all recreational vessels must use vessel pump-out facilities provided by project marinas.  It is against the law to discharge treated or untreated sewage directly into the lake.  Each marina on the lake provides pump-out services, so contact the marina closest to you to make arrangements for your vessel.

Q: Can I have fireworks?

A:  No.  Fireworks, along with explosives, firearms and other weapons are prohibited on Government Property.  More details on this prohibition can be found in Title 36 Rules and Regulations, Section 327.13.


Q: Do you allow private boat docks?

A: No private boat dock permits are allowed on Laurel Lake.

Q:  When was the dam built?

A:  The dam was completed and impounded in 1974 and hydropower production began in 1977.  

Q:  Can I use my metal detector around the lake?

A:  That depends.  According to an official memorandum of policy from the Directorate of Civil Works and dated March 10, 1989, metal detectors are allowed under certain conditions.  The use of metal detectors will be allowed on public beaches or other previously disturbed areas that do not contain or would not reasonably be expected to contain archaeological, historical, or paleontological resources.  Nonidentifiable items, such as coins of nominal value ($25.00 or less) do not need to be deposited with the natural resource manager or ranger.  Identifiable items (rings, watches, etc.) or items or greater than nominal value will be deposited with the natural resource manager or ranger.  Digging shall be limited to hand tools that can be used by one hand only.  Hand tools shall be limited to 4 inches wide and 12 inches long.  All trash uncovered must be removed and placed in an approved trash receptacle.  All soil disturbed or displaced shall be returned to its original state.  In addition, we would ask that any such approved use of metal detectors take place during times when it will not interfere with the public’s recreational use of an area, i.e. not on busy weekends at beaches and recreation areas.

Q:  Are there any trails on Laurel River Lake?

A:  Yes.  Part of the Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail is part of the National Trails System and it can be accessed from several locations around the dam and Holly Bay.  Laurel Loop Trail can be accessed from the Spillway Overlook parking area.  This trail is 1 ¼ mile and moderate to strenuous.  For additional information or maps stop by the Resource Manager’s Office Monday through Friday 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.