Escape the Kentucky summer heat with a trip to Nolin Lake, a stunning spot about an hour south of Louisville. Here, classic cabins sit on forested hillsides and the remote location creates a relaxed, peaceful getaway. The lake was formed when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dammed the Nolin River; as a result, it features an unusual curving shape and a wealth of hidden coves and picturesque inlets. Explore the hilly shores by kayak, or rent a motorboat for days of water skiing and fishing. Given Nolin Lake’s relatively secluded location, vacation rentals near Nolin Lake are a great option for your stay. Most feature full kitchens, so you don’t have to worry about driving to a restaurant after a day on the water. Check out 9 of our top picks for Nolin Lake vacation rental locations and book your trip now!

1. Nolin Lake State Park

nolin lake
Source: Flickr/Shannon Tompkins

Nolin Lake State Park is one of the easiest public access points to Lake Nolin, making it a convenient option for a vacation rental. Bring your boat to the park’s boat launch, or take your mountain bike down miles of forested trails. From the park’s shores, you can fish for bass and walleye, or let the kids work out their energy in the park’s playground while you enjoy the picnic facilities. Other local activities include swimming in the lake and excellent birding.

2. Cave Hollow Bay Peninsula

nolin river lake
Source: Flickr/LouisvilleUSACE

Just to the east of Nolin Lake State Park, a large peninsula juts out into Cave Hollow Bay. Vacation rentals in this area vary dramatically. Enjoy a rustic getaway with a charming waterfront cottage, or host a family reunion in a sprawling lakeside mansion. Thanks to the hilly landscape, many properties offer beautiful views of the water. Spend your days swimming from your private shoreline, or bring your bike to explore the tree-lined streets. Be sure to stop for groceries on the way, as there are no local restaurants.

3. Laurel Ridge Road Peninsula

nolin river
Source: Flickr/LouisvilleUSACE

Enjoy a completely private vacation rental on the tiny peninsula that contains the Laurel Ridge Road loop. Here, a few scattered properties nestle on large, wooded lots, far from major thoroughfares. Kick back on your deck to enjoy the silence, or explore the local roads on foot. Most local homes feature lake access for swimming and kayaking, and Nolin Lake State Park sits a few minutes away for easy boat launching.

4. Furnace Branch Road Peninsula

mammoth cave
Source: Flickr/Margaret River

Find a vacation rental with easy wilderness access and minimal traffic on the Furnace Branch Road peninsula. This small, mitten-shaped peninsula features single-family homes surrounded by trees, so you can opt to interact with neighbors or relax at home. The forests out your back door offer hiking and exploring opportunities, and a variety of paths run down to the shores of Nolin Lake. A short drive south, Mammoth Cave National Park features thrilling underground activities in the world’s longest known cave system.

5. Moutardier Recreation Area

nolin lake snow
Source: Flickr/LouisvilleUSACE

Take advantage of Nolin Lake’s spectacular outdoors in the neighborhoods surrounding Moutardier Recreation Area. Fish off of your own dock with a vacation rental on the lake; alternatively, drive or walk less than 2 miles to the recreation area. Here you can swim, use the playground or explore local hiking trails. Rent a boat at the onsite Moutardier Marina to check out other parts of the lake. A few local eateries serve casual meals, and minimal traffic ensures safe biking and walking.

6. Cane Camp Branch

nolin lake
Source: Flickr/Shannon Tompkins

Join in the local community on the shores of the Cane Camp Branch of Lake Nolin. Here, year-round residents mingle with seasonal visitors, creating a fun, relaxed vibe that’s great for families. Some vacation rentals come with boat slips, so you can leave home and be on the water in no time. When you’re ready for a change of scenery, enjoy hiking and swimming in nearby Moutardier Recreation Area, Nolin Lake State Park, and Brier Recreation Area.

7. Northwest Nolin Lake

sunrise at nolin
Source: Flickr/LouisvilleUSACE

Surround yourself with natural beauty in the northwest section of Nolin Lake. A variety of vacation rentals populate this large region, so you can choose from small residential communities nestled among farm fields or isolated cabins in the hills. Bring your hiking boots and explore the hills on foot, stopping occasionally for a dip in the lake. Make the short drive to Wax for a selection of restaurants, or stay at home for a casual dinner with a view of the lake.

8. Wax Campground

double docks
Source: Flickr/Shannon Tompkins

Vacation rentals near the Wax Campground place you in the center of Nolin Lake’s busiest areas. Join other visitors in bike rides around the neighborhood, or head for the Wax Marina to rent a pontoon boat or a motorboat. Bring your kayak to explore the calm waters and quiet coves of the lake, or simply enjoy the views from your rental’s dock. After a day of water skiing, walk over to Peonia Road to check out local eateries such as the popular Nolin Lake Lodge.

9. Wax

autumn nolin river
Source: Flickr/LouisvilleUSACE

Look out over beautiful farmland in Wax, a small community on the northeastern edge of Nolin Lake. Start the day with coffee and a walk through the rolling hills, and head for the Wax Marina to get on the water. If you’re looking to fish undisturbed, head for the far eastern end of the lake, which curves dramatically through vibrant green countryside. Bring your kayak to paddle over to Nolin Lake State Park, or explore the expansive Brier Recreation Area.