Camp Blanton a Harlan County destination gem - Harlan Enterprise

Camp Blanton is a Harlan County destination gem

Posted at 1:57 pm on Friday, January 20, 2023

Many in Harlan County remember Camp Blanton from their days as a Boy Scout since the camp served as the site of many of that organization’s activities for decades. These days, however, the campground is both the site of local events and a hidden destination for spending a day or two surrounded by the woods of Blanton Forest and getting away from the rigors of everyday life.

Jeff Lucas, who with his wife, Scarlett, performs the duties of chargé d’affaires at Camp Blanton, talked about some of the site’s attractions that are available to the general public.

“We have three rooms to rent,” said Lucas. “We have a 60,000 gallon swimming pool for rent. We have a food court that can seat over 100 people with a fully professional kitchen that we rent.”

Lucas noted that the entire camp is available for rent as a whole.

“We have a lot of weddings here,” said Lucas. “There were a lot of birthday parties, a lot of family reunions; we had just about everything for which people gather.”

The camp features a wide variety of outdoor activities.

“We have two fire pits,” said Lucas. “We have fishing, and you can fish in our pond, and you don’t have to get a fishing license for that. We have many canoes. We have four boats. Anyone who comes here can use the boats as long as they wear a life jacket, and we have plenty of life jackets that we have for everyone.”

Hiking is one of the most popular activities in the camp, as the surrounding forest offers trails to some of the best scenery in the area.

“There’s a walking trail up to Knobby Rock,” Lucas said. “You can walk everywhere; it kind of looks like the surface of the moon; it has craters in it. You can actually look at the airport from there.”

According to Lucas, the trip to Knobby Rock takes about an hour. Those looking for a longer excursion can continue to Sand Cave, about 30 minutes from Knobby Rock.

The hiking trail is easy enough for most people who want to use it.

“They’ve done a lot of work on this track,” said Lucas. “They made some bridges over the creeks. The Forest Department did a lot of work last fall to make it so that if someone were there and fell or died, they could easily get to it.”

Lucas pointed out the camp lake and the first cabins were erected in the 1930’s.

“The cabin I live in was built in 1932,” said Lucas. “It’s the original cabin.”

For more information about the facilities and rental options available at Camp Blanton, call 423-300-6243 or go to