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Kentucky State Parks

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Greenbo Lake State Resort Park
Cardinal ©
Picnic Table ©
It is always a great day for a picnic in the park.
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965 Lodge Road
Greenup, Kentucky   41144

Phone: 606-473-7324
Email: park email button icon
Greenbo Lake State Resort Park draws thousands from the Tri-State area and beyond. They enjoy the rugged beauty of the Eastern Kentucky hills and the lake is, literally, a fishermans dream come true, the dream of George Collins.
History of the Area
The idea for a recreational lake in Northeastern Kentucky was born in 1948 in the mind of George Collins, owner of Rail City Hardware in Russell, KY. Collins discussed it with his friend and fishing partner, Dr. Virgil Skaggs, and they brought it before the Greenup Fish Game Club at their next meeting. The club embraced the idea and it was decided to start making plans for the lake and begin soliciting donations and pledges. Word of the project spread rapidly and many people throughout Greenup and Boyd Counties were anxious to help. As plans progressed, the attendance at the Clubs weekly meetings swelled to fifty or more. Throughout the two counties enthusiasm grew quickly.

A site committee formed of Greenup and Boyd County residents reported that the two best potential locations were in Greenup County in the areas of Sand Suck and Clay Lick. Options were taken at both locations with the landowners at a rate of one dollar per farm or property. The Clay Lick area was judged superior and the two options were taken on the properties there. The confluence of Clay Lick Creek and its tributaries, Buffalo Fork and Pruitt Fork, form the present three-prong shape of the lake.

A contest was held to name the new organization. Bill Biggs of Greenup suggested Greenbo Recreation Association, reflecting the efforts of the citizens of both Greenup and Boyd Counties. This name was adopted and the organization was incorporated on January 29, 1953.

A concerted drive was made to raise the money needed to purchase the land, construct the dam, build good roads through the rugged hills and set up all the other facilities needed to make a fine park. Greenbo representatives made speeches before Tri-State club meetings and on the local radio and television stations. Newspaper articles and editorials came out in support of the project as well. Letters were sent to all those who had signed pledge cards. Personal contact with local businesses and industries resulted in Armco Steele and Ashland Oil agreeing to match the amounts donated by their respective employees. A Porch Light Night was advertised, where anyone wishing to donate would turn on their porch light to be visited by collection volunteers. Porch Light Night was a huge success and brought in a sizable amount of money. The fish hatchery on KY Route 5 was donated to the organization and then sold, with proceeds of $50,000.

In all, $210,500 was raised and the land was purchased from the 33 landowners with the deeds recorded at the Greenup County Courthouse on February 16, 1954. A contract was let for the construction of the dam. The vacant homes and buildings were razed and brush and trees were cut in the planned lake basin.

Initially, Governor Lawrence Wetherby was not enthusiastic, noting that there was already a state park not far from there Carter Caves State Resort Park however, he did agree to inspect the park. He flew into Ashland Airport where he was met by Greenbo representatives and taken to the lake. The lake was fully formed and he was given a tour on a pontoon boat. The Governor was impressed by the natural beauty of the area and with his trademark big smile agreed to accept the deed. Soon after, the state stepped in and began making improvements mentioned earlier, with the exception of the leased lots for cottages. On October 20, 1969, groundbreaking ceremonies were held for a lodge for overnight guests, attended by Governor Louie B. Nunn, State Park Commissioner James W. Host, Director of State Park Construction and Maintenance Robert Penrod and Greenbo Association representatives Ross Simpson, Norris Fletcher and Charles W. Kopp. This fine building overlooking the lake was named for Jesse Stuart, the famous Kentucky writer whose birthplace is within a few miles of the park.
The fieldstone lodge at this resort is named in honor of Jesse Hilton Stuart 1906-1984, Poet Laureate and native of Greenup County. Peruse Stuarts works and personal momentos in the lodge reading room. Most of the 36 rooms feature private patios and balconies overlooking beautiful Greenbo Lake. Rooms are available by late afternoon. Lodge room check-out by 1100am, local time. A limited number of lodge rooms will be available for pets.
Enjoy the great outdoors at the Greenbo Lake campground. The campground features 58 sites with utility hook ups and 36 primitive sites. Three dumping stations, two central service buildings with showers and rest rooms, and a grocery store guarantee camping convenience. Closed November 1 to April 1.

9 primitive sites are available on a first come first served basis for equestrian campers only.

Each site has hitching posts, fire rings, picnic table and a general watering area with easy access to the trail system.
A swimming pool adjacent to the lodge is for the exclusive use of lodge guests. A community pool features a water slide and a childrens area with a rain tree is located next to the lake swimming is not allowed in the lake.

Pool Operating Hours
Open Memorial Day weekend through August 11.
Open August 11 through September 1, Saturday and Sunday only.
The marina is open Monday thru Thursday - 800am until 630pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday - 800am until 900pm. and offers 65 open slips, rental pontoon boats, row boats, canoes, and motor boats.

No jet skis are allowed on lake. The whole of the lake is idle only, and all boaters must observe no wake speeds. Fishing pier and boat ramp for launching boats are open.
Cast away your cares at Greenbo Lake This 225-acre lake is home of two state largemouth bass records The lake also holds large bluegill, crappie, catfish, and trout.

A Kentucky Fishing License is required.

Don't have a fishing pole No problem Stop by the marina and ask about the fishing loaner program where overnight guests can check out FREE equipment.
Canoes can be rented at the park marina open April 1 - October 31.

Greenbo Lake State Resort Park is located near Ashland, Grayson and Greenup

The park has a picnic shelter along the pool road with rest rooms, plus two more picnic areas in the campground.
Trails provide the perfect opportunity for hikers, mountain bikers and horsemen to enjoy the scenery of beautiful Greenbo Forest. Self-guided trails provide 25 miles of easy-to-difficult hiking, or marked for multi-use.
The trails provide the perfect opportunity for hikers, mountain bikers and horsemen to enjoy the scenery of beautiful Greenbo Forest. Self-guided trails provide 25 miles of easy-to-difficult hiking, or marked for multi-use.

Claylick Loop Trail 7 miles

Claylick loop trail is marked in blue blazes and begins where the sign says Park Marina. The trail follows forest ridgelines, descends down towards the lake and circles back to the orginial starting position. The trail offers beautiful views of forested ridgelines of oak, beech, and poplar trees, scenic lake views, rock, and cave formations. The Belwood shelter 3 on map is located on this trail.

Michael Tygart Loop Trail 7 miles

The Michael Tygart Loop Trail begins at the Jesse Stuart Lodge and follows the Fern Valley Trail for about half a mile then goes off the the left. The trail is marked in yellow blazes and at 1.5 miles it crosses the road and passes by a cemetery and continues on to Blackberry Shelter shelter 1 on map and continues on for approximately 1, mile where it will come out at Bays Ridge Road. Turn right on the gravel road and follow it for .25 mile and pick up the trail as it enters into the woods at sign that says Park Marina. Keep going straight and follow yellow blazes where you will descend a short hill into the Pruitt Fork Valley. From this point on you will pass by a few small creeks and see a few abandoned homes from about 1880, along with a variey of plant life, and animals. Upon reaching the lake the trail will follow the shoreline for about two miles back to the Park Marina. The Michael Tygart Loop Trail is most enjoyable in fall, winter, and spring. April and May are good months to photographing wildflowers and the end of October is a great time for seeing fall colors.

Carpenter's Run Trail 10 miles

Carpenter's Run Trail starts in the same location as the Claylick Loop Trail except it turns left at the trail sign and then you follow the red blazes. Carpenter's Run also follows forest ridgelines, descends down towards the lake, and offers scenic views of the lake and Greenbo Dam. The trail frequently follows the lakeshore and the E. Stevens Shelter shelter 2 on the map is located on this trail at a beautiful point overlooking the lake.

Fern Valley Self Guided Interpretive Trail 1 miles

The Fern Valley trail follows a hillside maintenance trail then winds thru a valley and returns you back to where you started. The trail is fairly easy walking with steep area for a short distance and the trail may be muddy after a rain. There are sixteen stations on the trail which interpret some of the natural and cultrual features you will encounter. A guide book is available at the lodge front desk and there is no horseback riding or mountain biking on the trail. You are asked to please return guide book after completing the trail.
Spring brings about warbler populations, thrushes, woodpeckers, and waterfowl. In summer you can see a variety of colorful song birds. During the fall season a variety of migrating birds and waterfowl are passing through the park. Winter is a time when sparrows, finches, and hawks can be seen. Sighting opportunities are throughout the entire park, especially the Fern Valley Trail were song birds and woodpeckers can be seen. Taking a pontoon boat ride or canoe trip on beautiful Greenbo Lake can provide for great birding along the lakes shoreline looking for belted kingfishers, swifts, and waterfowl. For an enjoyable morning or evening bird watch you can sit in a rocking chair on the lodge front porch during the spring, summer, and early fall to view, ruby throated hummingbirds, chickadees, robins, and listen to catbirds and mockingbirds chatter.

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Kentucky State Parks