Tailwater Recreation Area

A scenic view with tree covered hills a open park area.
The Tailwater Recreation Area is seen from the top of Nolin River Dam.

NPS Photo/ Deb Spillman

Quick Facts
Bee Spring, KY 42207

Benches/Seating, Boat Ramp, Canoe/Kayak/Small Boat Launch, Cellular Signal, Grill, Information Kiosk/Bulletin Board, Picnic Shelter/Pavilion, Picnic Table, Playground, Restroom, Trash/Litter Receptacles

The Tailwater Recreation Area, at the base of the Nolin River Dam, serves as a recreation access point for the Nolin River before it flows into Mammoth Cave National Park, and joins the Green River. This small day-use area is managed by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).

A paved boat ramp provides access to canoers, kayakers, and boaters wanting to access the national park on the Nolin River. The site also has restrooms, picnic tables, and a playground. 

Nolin: The Story Behind the Name

The Nolin River is named for the early American explorer and Kentucky militia member, Benjamin Lynn. Serving under George Rogers Clark during the Revolutionary War, Lynn traveled to Illinois to spy on the British and Indian forces, and also played a pivotal role in the Northwest Campaign on 1778-79. Following his return to Kentucky, Lynn and several friends were camped in the Green River Area. Lynn became separated from his friends and could not be found for several days. Each night, they returned from the search reporting “No Lynn.” The river at which they camped became known as the Nolin.

Many of the early settlers in the area around the Nolin River came from Nordic regions which is reflected in community names such as Stockholm and Sweeden. Others came from France, showing influence through community names like Moutardier and Chalybeate. Rich in culture, the local area mirrors history and tradition in small businesses around the lake.

Contact Nolin River Lake USACE

For more information about the Tailwater Recreation area, please contact Nolin River Lake USACE.


(270) 286-4511 

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 339 
Bee Spring, KY 42207 

Physical Address:

2150 Nolin Dam Road 
Bee Spring, KY 42207  

If using GPS:

2150 Nolin Dam Road 
Mammoth Cave, KY 

Office Hours: Monday–Thursday, 6:30 am – 4 pm and Friday 6:30 am – 3 pm (Central Time)  (times may vary, please call ahead) 

Mammoth Cave National Park

Last updated: February 7, 2022