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The Friends of Rough River and our partners spend countless hours evaluating 'high impact' projects that will add to the activities available

to residents and visitors of our lake.  A complete list of past projects is shown at the bottom of this page. 

Some recent projects are highlighted below!

Cave Creek Hiking - Mountain Bike Trails!
~6 miles of trails have been constructed around the Cave Creek Campground area.

A new beach has been added to the Laurel Branch Recreation Area.  BIG parking lot added for visitors, boats and trailers using the Laurel Branch Campground area. 


After the State Park marina and docks were moved to deeper water to allow for 12-month mooring, The Friends worked with the State Park

to improve the options for courtesy docks at the State Park ramp and parking area.  An ADA access was desired, as were additional slips to allow for more boats than the previous courtesy dock serviced.  A plan was hatched and the journey to obtain funding started!!

It took some time, but eventually we received approval for 2 large U-docks that provide 3 mooring sites each.   


UPDATE NOV 2022:  A 12-month access dock has been added to the LEFT side of the State Park ramp to allow for ingress and egress all year.  Thanks to the Powell Brothers for their efforts in getting this dock installed before we hit winter pool!  The dock is able to be moved in and out as water level demands.  

  • Renovated State Park beach area

  • Purchased outdoor bistro tables & chairs for State Park Lodge patio area

  • Provided $10,000.00 funding for the 5 mile Cave Creek Trails Project

  • Provided funding for three picnic shelters at three separate campgroundS

  • Renovated Rough River Lake Visitor's Center

  • Funded construction of Laurel Branch public beach

  • Purchased 15 ft. wide/screen rear projection equipment for use at public events at the State Park Lodge - including Friends fundraisers

  • Provided $11,000.00 funding to renovate mini-putt golf course at State Park

Over the past 12 years, the Friends of Rough River have provided over 10,000 volunteer service hours and raised over $362,000.00 in financial contributions from local residents and businesses to help create additional options for lake residents and visitors and ensure the continued economic viability of the lake area. 

  • In 2013, the Friends worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Civil Works Division to allow Rough River Lake to remain at summer pool lake level thru the 3rd week in October vs. drawdown after Labor Day.  This initiative added ~6 weeks to the tourism season - equating to a 25% increase in tourism days. In 2018, the extended summer pool lake level was expanded to include Nolin Lake, Barren River Lake and Green River Lake.  The total economic impact for the 4-lake area is estimated at more than $15 Million annually.  

  • In 2016, the Friends worked with State Park leadership to obtain funding to move the State docks/marina to deep water.  This allows for year-round operation and subsequent revenue generation for the State Park and the businesses at the lake that serve these boaters. Houseboats no longer need to come out at winter pool!

  • In 2015, Worked directly with Sen. McConnell, Rand Paul, Rep. Brett Guthrie, Rep. Massie, and the Corps of Engineers Chain of Command, to eliminate/refund Admin Fees for Flowage Easement Resolution. This eliminated the ~ $4400 admin fee for the owners whose property was not encroaching on COE flowage easements. 

  • In 2008, after State funding was cancelled, the Friends started collecting the donations needed to fund the Rumble Over Rough River fireworks display on Independence Day weekend. This event alone brings an estimated 50,000 people to enjoy the fireworks on that holiday weekend. 

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