Land Between The Lakes Trails

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Hiking, Biking & Water Trails

No matter if you're looking for a place to hike, a place to ride your bike through the woods, or if you want to explore the shorelines and bays with your kayak or canoe, Land Between The Lakes has a trail for you.

Hiking Trails

Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area is a hiker's dream!

There are dozens of miles of trails to explore - ranging from short, paved trails that are handicapped-accessible to long, multi-day hikes throughout the forest, fields, streams and lake shores.

So browse the trials below - pick a trail or two and start exploring Land Between The Lakes' wildlife, shorelines, prairies and woods.

Long Creek Trail

A paved trail located near the Woodlands Nature Station that is flat and leads to Long Creek, which feeds Honker Lake.

0.3 Miles - Handicapped Accessible - Paved - Map

Honker Lake Trail

A longer trail that is rated moderate. It travels around Honker Lake and crosses an earthen dam. Very scenic views of Lake Barkley! Located near the Woodlands Nature Station.

4.5 Miles - Moderate Hike - Map

Hematite Lake Trail

One of the most popular trails, this is a 2.2 mile trail that is relatively easy. The back of the trail features a series of boardwalks and bridges that spans the creek feeding Hematite Lake.

2.2 Miles - Easy - Picnic Tables Nearby - Restroom On Site - Map

Central Hardwoods Scenic Trial

This newest trail connects Eggners Ferry Bridge and the Lake Barkley bridge at Canton. It is 11 miles in length with a portion of the trail paved.

11 Miles - Moderate Difficulty - Paved/Gravel - Map

Fort Henry Trail System

Located in southern LBL, this trail system follows the same paths Confederate soldiers took to defend Fort Henry from Union forces during the Civil War.

26 Miles - Moderate Difficulty - Map

North-South Trail

The "big one" - this trail runs 65 miles and is for those who want a multi-day hike. It rates as moderate to strenuous. The northern section of the trail is also for mountain biking.

65 miles - Moderate to Strenuous - North Map - South Map

Biking Trails

Whether you're into mountain biking or cycling the paved roads, Land Between The Lake has a trail for you.

Northern Portion of North/South Trail

The northern portion of the North-South Trail is 31 miles and is great for mountain biking.

31 Miles - Trail Map

Canal Loop

Enjoy this 11-mile single-track loop with three connectors allowing for 1.5 mile excursions or the entire 11. This trail is considered the best mountain biking trail in LBL.

1.5 to 11 Miles - Map

Central Hardwoods Bike Trail

This trail is shared with hiker and traverses east-west across Land Between The Lakes, connecting with the two bridges across the lakes.

11 Miles - Map

Fort Henry Trail System

Varying in lengths up to 26 miles, these trails are great for exploring the history of Fort Henry, a Civil War battle site that is now mostly under water.

Up to 26 Miles - Map

Hillman Heritage Bike Trail

Great for cycling, the newest trail system is at Hillman Ferry Campground and is about 5.5 miles in length.

5.5 Miles - Open to Public - Map

Water Trails

One of the newest features Land Between The Lakes is offering are water trails. These designated water ways provide wildlife-viewing opportunities for kayaks and canoes while exploring the shorelines of Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley.

Taylor Bay Water Trail

This is a long skinny bay tucked away from the main channel of Lake Barkley.  There are several islands that lie at the mouth of the bay.  Farther out, you'll find a couple of island rookeries.  Black-crowned nigh herons and cormorants are common at the island rookeries. 

Bald eagles and nesting osprey can be spotted here, too.  White pelicans migrate here in the fall. 

Location:  Lake Barkley at Taylor Bay Camping Area off FSR 136
Experience Time:
  A little over 2 hours

Kuttawa Landing Rookery Water Tail

This trip is recommended for experience paddlers due to being in the main channel of Lake Barkley. Here is a four-acre rookery with heron, egret and cormorant with thousands of nesting birds.

Location:  Lake Barkley at Kuttawa Landing Camping Area off FSR 127
Experience Time:
  About 2 hours

Fulton Bay Water Trail

While this water trail is closed as a wildlife refuge from November 1 through March 15, the viewing of wildlife is outstanding here.

You can see osprey, warblers, kingbirds, tanagers, ducks, herons, bald eagles, egrets and more during various parts of the year.

Fulton Bay is typically quiet and shallow with no road access, which makes the bay attractive to waterfowl.

Location:  Lake Barkley at Honker Dam off FSR 138
Experience Time:
  About 3 hours

Ginger Bay Water Trail

This trail is located at the Ginger Bay Camping Area off FSR 212. This is a large bay off the main part of Kentucky Lake with rocky bluffs on parts of the shore.

The wildlife viewing is good here with pelicans in the late fall and early spring, bald eagles year round as well as herons and egrets.

Location:  Kentucky Lake at Ginger Bay Camping Area
Experience Time:
  About 90 minutes

Honker Lake Water Trail

Similar to Fulton Bay, Honker Lake, which is an impoundment of Lake Barkley, is closed as a wildlife refuge from November 1 through March 15.  This is a shallow lake with several lily pads boasting beautiful sunsets.  Eagles, osprey, cormorants, beavers, deer, and other fauna can been seen here.  Paddlers can run up Long Creek to near Hematite Dam.

Location:  Lake Barkley at Honker Dam off FSR 138
Experience Time:
  About an hour