Lewis County is situated in the northeast corner of the state in the Northern Kentucky River Region. It has the longest boundary with the Ohio River of all the counties bordering it. Its 484 square miles make it the thirteenth largest of the 120 counties in the state. The county seat is Vanceburg.

The heavily forested hills of the county have some of the best oak hardwoods in the United States. Throughout the county’s history, the forests have been the mainstay for laborers and their income, always producing vast amounts of lumber, barrel staves, tanbark, railroad ties, firewood, and numerous wood products.

The county is watered by several streams, the most notable of them being Kinniconick Creek, well known for its fishing and camping attractions. Other major streams are Salt Lick Creek, Cabin Creek, Indian Creek, the North Fork of Licking River, Montgomery Creek and Quick’s Run. The Ohio River, which serves as the county’s northern boundary, originally contained four interesting islands (now only three); one group, known as the Three Islands, was a major landmark for early settlers making their way downstream.

The elevation ranges from 485 to 1400 feet above sea level. In 2006 the population was 13,741 with an average of 29.1 people per square mile as compared to the Kentucky average of 101.7 people per square mile.

There are two Industrial Parks. The Lewis County Industrial Park, near the Ohio River east of Vanceburg, has 118 acres, and is 30 minutes from I-64. The Tollesboro Industrial Park has 57 acres and sits on the AA Highway just west of KY 57.


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