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Land Between the Lakes

Land Between The Lakes (LBL) is a 170,000-acre national recreation area in Western Kentucky and Tennessee located near I-24, about 90 miles north of Nashville, TN, and just south of Paducah, KY.

HISTORY: Land Between The Lakes is an inland peninsula formed when the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers were impounded, creating Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley -- one of the world's largest man-made bodies of water. In 1959, when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began construction of Barkley Dam on the Cumberland River, many recognized the recreational and environmental education benefits of what would soon become Land Between the Lakes, a near-island between two man-made lakes.

In 1963, President John F. Kennedy created Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area. LBL was formed to demonstrate how an area with limited timber, agricultural, and industrial resources could be converted into a recreation asset that would stimulate economic growth in the region. Land Between the Lakes is the country's only such national demonstration area.

LBL became a reality in 1964 when Rushing Creek Campground, LBL's first public recreation facility, opened. Today, Land Between the Lakes is the focal point of a $600 million tourism industry; it remains one of the most visited attractions in Kentucky and Tennessee.

The Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers flow very close to each other in the northwestern corner of Middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky, separated by a rather narrow and mostly low ridge. This area where they are only a few miles apart had been known as "Between the Rivers" since at least the 1830s or 1840s. After the Cumberland River was impounded in the 1960s and a canal was constructed between the two lakes, Land Between the Lakes became the largest inland peninsula in the United States.



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