Looking for an outdoor adventure near Cincinnati, Ohio? Check out Kincaid Lake State Park for kayaking, hiking trails, golf, camping and more!
We've been on a quest this year.
Our goal has been to find outdoor getaways that make for an easy day (or weekend) trip in the central Kentucky area.
And there are quite a few!
Happily for us, Kentucky has a great collection of state parks that are perfect for exploring.
One of our latest discoveries is Kincaid Lake State Park in Falmouth, Kentucky, located about 55 miles north of Lexington and 35 miles south of Cincinnati, Ohio.
Looking for other nearby outdoor experiences? Check out East Fork State Park in Ohio or Veterans Park Mountain Biking Trails, Bernheim Forest, England-Idlewild Park and Big Bone Lick State Historic Site in Kentucky.
We got to try out kayaking, hiking, and camping at Kincaid Lake and came away really pleased with the experience!
Kayaking at Kincaid Lake
There are eight kayaks available for rent at the lake.
The cost, as of summer 2021, was $10 per hour or $60 for the day.
You can also rent other types of boats, such as pontoon boats, canoes, and pedal boats.
The rental process is handled right on the dock at the marina, which is open throughout the summer. If no one is there, call the business office. The boat dock opens at 10 a.m.
We found the lake to be a great place for beginner kayakers. When we visited there were no motor boats speeding by and creating wakes. It was very peaceful!
The slow current and very little motion in the water do mean that you’ll mostly be moving the kayak yourself, so be prepared for an arm workout!
Need other suggestions for kayaking gear for beginners? This guide is for you!
There are two trails at Kincaid Lake: the Spicebush and Ironwood trails.
To get to both of them, follow the path behind the recreation area restrooms. When you reach the trailhead information building, go through the building and down the trail.
Both trails are well-marked and easy to follow.
The trails are both moderately easy. Since it was such a hot and humid day, I was glad I brought my daypack with lots of water, even though it wasn’t a long hike.
We did see lots of poison ivy on the trails! I recommend bringing along some Tecnu poison ivy + oak scrub.
There's a swimming pool at the park, and campers can get discounted access. Just ask for wrist bands to get admittance!
The pool's not necessarily open every day towards the end of the camping season, so check before you go if that's important to you.
There's a nine-hole golf course, with golf carts available to rent.
The golf course also has a kitchen serving ice cream, pizza, and picnic-type foods.
Near the campground, there's a miniature golf course with nine holes, which you can play for $3 a game. There's a playground in the recreation area, as well as volleyball, basketball, and tennis courts.
Kincaid Lake Campground
It's easy to book a campsite online through Kincaid Lake's website.
There are two loops at the campground just for tents, which is nice for tent campers because those loops tend to be quieter than the RV accessible loops!
Some of the tent spots have lake access, so if you brought your own kayak, those spots would let you enter the lake without driving to the boat dock.
The bathrooms were clean, but plan on bringing your own soap. We were able to find bathrooms at both the boat dock and the recreation area near the trailhead.
Rather than vault toilets, there were porta-potties installed by the tent loops (which I thought was a little odd). We opted to drive to other bathrooms instead.
Two shower houses are available just a short walk away from the tent-only camping spots. The shower houses were pretty busy while we were there, so we didn't make use of them.
Our stay at Kincaid Lake was brief, but getting out on the lake and doing some kayaking was just the change of pace we were looking for! So if you're interested in a peaceful camping spot and a little outdoor recreation, this state park is worth a visit.