Welcome to Rough River Lake in central Kentucky!
*Photo taken from the shoreline on the North Fork of Rough River Lake.
Rough River Lake was designed and built by the Louisville District of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. The lake serves as a part of the overall plan to reduce flooding downstream from the dam, in the Ohio River basin.
The lake also provides water supply and serves to augment low-flow conditions downstream to preserve the quality of the water. In addition, the lake provides us with a wonderful resource for recreation, fishing, skiing, camping and wildlife habitat.
The lake was authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1938. Construction was initiated in November 1955 and the project became operational in June 1961.
Rough River Lake is very centrally located with the U. S. In fact, visitors often say it's "located within 500 miles of about 1/2 the US population!" Not sure if that is exactly true - but as these maps show - Louisville KY is very centrally located - and the lake is about 90 minutes south of Louisville!
Some trivia that you might not know about this area: Rough River Lake lies within the "Clifty" area of the Pennyroyal Region of Kentucky. The term "Pennyroyal" or "Pennyrile," used interchangeably, denotes an area exceeding 11,000 square miles. (The name derives from a plant of the mint family which grows profusely throughout the area.)
The Clifty area comprises the western edge of the Pennyroyal region. The beauty of this region was carved over thousands and thousands of years by streams running through alternating layers of sandstone, shale and limestone. These formed in shallow seas of the remote geologic past. These rock layers have been assigned by geologists to the Chester Series of Late Mississippian Geologic Age, a period estimated to have existed about 300,000,000 years ago.
The lake is bounded on the east by the Pennyroyal plain, a very extensive, nearly-flat topographic feature formed on very thick limestone beds. An abundance of water, both surface and underground, has caused solutioning in the limestone and as a result, created a myriad of sinks and caverns. The most important cavern in the area is Mammoth Cave, the largest cave in the world with over 240 miles of mapped passageways. The Pennyroyal plain, extending from northern Tennessee through Kentucky to central Indiana, is an outstanding example of "Karst" (sinkhole) topography and is the most widespread topographic feature of this type in the United States.
Some info excerpts from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
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