The kids have been wanting to go camping for a while now, but the idea of sleeping on the ground doesn’t sound appealing. I researched our local camping options and found out about an awesome experience where you can stay in a Conestoga Wagon in Horse Cave, Kentucky. The area is wildly popular for its caves that you can explore, animal attractions, and beautiful countryside. In this Horse Cave KOA review, I’ll share how we stayed in a covered wagon and help you decide if it is worth it to stay here.
Our stay was complimentary as part of our visit to Hart County, Kentucky. While this was a sponsored stay, we’ll share both the good and the bad of our stay at this Horse Cave KOA campground.
In This Post
What is Horse Cave KOA?
Horse Cave KOA is a private campground that is owned by the Gedda family. It offers a variety of camping options and amenities for travelers of all budgets. The campground is full-service with a small convenience store, full laundry facilities, hot showers, and so much more.
While this was my first camping experience since college, I love that the campground has something to offer for everyone. Campers can stay in tents, covered wagons, treehouses, or their own RV. And there are numerous complimentary activities on-site and in the local community to keep you entertained.
- Learn more about Horse Cave, Kentucky in our podcast interview with Sandra Wilson.
Where is Horse Cave KOA?
The campground is in the middle of Kentucky, about 90 minutes south of Louisville and about 30 minutes from Bowling Green. From our home in Nashville, it is about 90 minutes north, which makes it perfect for a weekend getaway. The campground is located at 489 Flint Ridge Rd, Horse Cave, KY 42749, about a quarter-mile off I-65.
On the other side of the freeway is Kentucky Down Under, the Farmwald Dutch Bakery & Deli, and McDonald’s. Kentucky Down Under is a petting zoo where you can pet a wide variety of animals, including kangaroos, ostriches, camels, and more. Farmwald Dutch Bakery offers delicious meals and is run by local Amish families. And, of course, McDonald’s offers fast food when you’re in a hurry.
Types of lodging available
There are numerous types of lodging available at the Horse Cave KOA. Depending on your style of camping and budget, there are plenty of choices available. I chose sample dates this winter and next summer to provide an estimated range of nightly rates.
Camping Cabins ($70-$80 per night)
This is a one-room cabin with a porch. It can accommodate a family of four with two bunk-bed sets. It does not have its own bathroom and you have to bring your own linens for the beds. Pets are allowed.
Conestoga Wagon ($135-$175 per night)
Travel back in time to the pioneer days with this unique experience. Each wagon has its own private patio, firepit, BBQ, and picnic table. There’s a king-size bed and twin bunk beds to sleep on. Bedding is provided, but it does not have a bathroom. It also includes a small fridge, microwave, Keurig coffeemaker, and a heater/AC unit to control the temps. No pets are allowed in the covered wagons.
I’ll share more about our covered wagon experience further down in this Horse Cave KOA review.
Deluxe Duplex ($100-$140 per night)
The Deluxe cabins have room for four, a partial kitchen, and a full bathroom with a shower. There’s a queen bed and a sleeper sofa (or futon) and linens are included. The queen bed is in a separate bedroom to provide privacy. Amenities include a fridge, microwave, flat-screen TV, and heater/AC unit. Pets are allowed.
Vacation Rental ($180 per night)
A two-bedroom cabin that is perfect for larger families or groups of friends. It is a two-story unit with two bedrooms upstairs and living quarters downstairs. One bedroom has a queen bed and the other features a queen bed and a queen bunk. Linens are provided. There’s a full bathroom upstairs and a half-bath downstairs. It also has a kitchen to cook meals and a living room to relax with your party. No pets are allowed.
Treehouse ($200 per night)
The treehouse rentals are situated 20-feet up in the air to offer tremendous views of the hills and valley through the treetops. It has three queen beds within two bedrooms and a sleeping loft. Linens are provided. There’s a full bath with a tub and shower and a full kitchen for your meals. A major feature is the 20×20 deck where you can relax and enjoy the sounds of nature with your friends and family. No pets are allowed.
RV Sites ($38-$42 per night)
Horse Cave KOA has many different types of campsites for mobile homes, travel trailers, fifth-wheels, and more. You can book campsites where you can back-in, pull-in, or pull-through, depending on your set-up and preferences. The RV site options include:
- Full Hookups, Back-in, 50/30 Amps
- Water/Electric, Pull-in, 30/20 Amps (great for smaller RVs)
- Full Hookups, Pull-through, 50/30/20 Amps
- Full Hookups, Pull-through, 50/30 Amps
- Water/Electric, Pull-through, 50/30/20 Amps
Tent Sites ($32 per night)
There’s only one type of tent site at Horse Cave KOA. It is an individual tent site on a grass tent pad for up to 6 people. There are no hookups for your vehicle. Pets are allowed.
*All of these prices were correct as of October 5, 2021. Prices may change based on the season, dates of travel, details of your trip, and when you book. Check the Horse Cave KOA website for the most accurate pricing.
Save money with a KOA Rewards membership
KOA Rewards is an annual membership that costs $33 per year. As a member, you’ll save 10% on reservations at over 500 locations. Members also receive additional discounts and offers throughout the year.
When you earn 20,000 points in a year, you’ll be upgraded to VIP status and earn 25% more points on each stay. VIP status also includes waived cancellation fees, bring-a-friend discount, and free KOA Rewards renewal.
And keep an eye out for free camping weekend dates for KOA Rewards campers. You’ll receive a free Saturday night at participating campgrounds when you pay for Friday night.
Our stay in the Conestoga Wagon
As soon as we pulled up to our covered wagon at Horse Cave KOA, I knew that we were in for a special treat. The looks on the kids’ faces were priceless. They had never seen a covered wagon like this in person, and the thought of being able to stay in one for the weekend blew their minds. I hope that these pictures from our Horse Cave KOA review inspire you to travel to new places and try new experiences aside from the normal miles and points hotels.
The Conestoga Wagon was perched on an overlook that had tremendous views of the valley and rolling hills. We could sit by the campfire or the picnic bench and enjoy the fresh Kentucky air.
Inside our covered wagon was more spacious than I expected. Everything was designed to fit just right. Immediately as you walk in, there are bunk beds on your left. And a seating area on your right with a lamp if you want to read a book or magazine.
Behind the bunk beds are the mini-fridge, coffeemaker, and microwave. We bought a few groceries from the local grocery store to snack on during our stay. And there was a lovely welcome basket from our friends at Hart County Tourist Commission.
At the back of the wagon was the king-size bed. The wagon was so big that there was ample room on either side to get up and walk without feeling too squeezed. There was a lamp beside the bed and plugs to charge your phone or other devices at night.
During the rainstorm, we hung out on the bed as a family and played card games (thank you Hart County!). It was so much fun and something that we hadn’t done together as a family in a long time. These memories are what traveling is all about.
Map of Horse Cave KOA
This map from Horse Cave KOA shows where everything is located in the campground. I love how the covered wagons and treehouses overlook the valley.
Amenities at Horse Cave KOA
There are so many things to do in Horse Cave, like Hidden River Cave, Kentucky Down Under, and Mammoth Cave National Park, but the campground has a lot to offer as well.
- Swimming pool. The swimming pool opens Memorial Weekend and closes on Labor Day. It is open from 8 am to 8 pm every day.
- Fishing. There’s no license required to fish in their pond, but it is catch-and-release. So don’t plan on catching your dinner in their pond. You must bring your own poles and bait, or you can buy them at the front desk. No swimming is allowed in the pond. Use the pool instead.
- Mini Golf. Play mini-golf for free. Ask for a putter and golf ball from the front desk.
- Volleyball and Basketball court. Grab your friends for a friendly game or make new friends with other guests while playing a game.
- KampK9. A dog-friendly fenced-in area so Fido can run around and burn off some energy. There are two sections – one each for big and small dogs – so your dog can play with others their own size.
- Jumping Pillow. It’s like an outdoor bounce house! Open from May to November, except when the weather is bad.
- Playground. Climb and play like you’re a kid again. It’s also good for children.
- Gift & Convenience Store. Open from 8 am to 8 pm every day. You can buy a small assortment of necessary items from the front desk, including seasoned firewood that is $5 per bundle and roasting sticks for firewood. Outside firewood is not allowed due to invasive species of Emerald Ash Borer bugs.
- Laundry Facility. Open 24 hours a day so that you can get your clothes fresh and clean.
- Private Bathrooms with Showers. The bathrooms were newly remodeled in 2020 and were very nice looking. There are 10 bathrooms located within an enclosed hallway. Each bathroom is separate with a locking door, sink, toilet, and tub/shower combo.
What we forgot to bring
Since this was our first time camping at a KOA campground, we didn’t know what to bring. We’re used to staying in hotels using our loyalty points, so there were a few surprises. Here’s what we should have brought with us for our stay to make it more enjoyable:
- Towels for pool and shower. Towels are not included in your stay. This made it quite tricky for the pool and showers. Luckily, Anna drove up and joined us on our second day and brought towels. Otherwise, I would have had to buy some from a store down the street.
- Bug spray. It’s been a while since I camped, and I forgot how many bugs there are in the world. Of course, you need bug spray to protect your body. I had that with me. But, I didn’t think about those little boogers trying to crawl through cracks in the doorway. A nice spray of Raid would have offered a little extra protection.
- Flashlight. I used my phone to light the way to the bathroom, which worked ok. And the bathroom building was lighted. However, having a real flashlight with us for the walk back and forth would have been a better choice.
- Roasting sticks for s’mores. We had a lovely package waiting for us with all the ingredients to make yummy s’mores over our firepit, but we didn’t have roasting sticks. The front office had some in their convenience store, but it was closed the first night by the time we realized that we needed them.
Horse Cave KOA Review
We were one of the first families to stay in the Horse Cave KOA covered wagons, and we really enjoyed the unique experience. The units were nice and clean, and I’m glad that the unit was large enough to have a king-size bed for adults and twin bunk beds for the kids. I was a little scared that we were going to blow away when a major thunderstorm with massive winds rolled through in the middle of the night. However, I was impressed with how well the covered wagon kept us protected and dry while the storm raged outside.
Obviously, bugs are part of the deal when you camp. But this city boy is bringing bug spray with me next time we visit. I killed several ants that made it into the wagon and the bugs loved the light just outside the door.
I wish that the front desk convenience store had more items, but it wasn’t too far to drive to a local grocery store. If you want an adult beverage, the closest grocery stores don’t carry them. You’ll need to drive an extra 10-15 minutes to grab some or just pack some in your cooler if you’re road-tripping to the Horse Cave KOA.
The only legit complaint is that the front door of our covered wagon wouldn’t latch properly. We had to deadbolt the door every time we went in or out to keep the door closed. It’s a simple fix to better align the door and the door jam. We let the front desk know, and I’m sure that their handyman fixed it following our departure.
The Bald Thoughts
We had an awesome time at the Horse Cave KOA near Bowling Green, Kentucky. It was the perfect spot for family fun at the camp’s amenities. Plus, it was centrally located for us to explore Hidden River Cave, Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky Down Under, and so much more.
The treehouse units were under construction during our visit, so we didn’t have a chance to stay in them. Although we enjoyed the covered wagon experience, the next time we visit Hart County, we’d love to stay in one of the treehouses. I hope that you enjoyed this Horse Cave KOA review and that it inspires you to visit Hart County and try unique experiences like this.
This article was originally published on BaldThoughts.com on October 5, 2021.