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Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area

Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area is a United States national recreation area in Kentucky and Tennessee between Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake. It was officially designated as an area of national recreation at the time of President John F. Kennedy.

The area was initially administered through The Tennessee Valley Authority, which built dams to form the two lakes found in this region. The recreation area eventually transferred over to the management of the United States Forest Service. In 1991, the area was made a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. 1. The administration of President Donald Trump retracted it from the list at the end of June 2017.


The Tennessee and Cumberland rivers run pretty close to one another in the northwestern part of Middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky, divided by a narrow, predominantly low ridge. The land that divides the waters of the two rivers has been called “Between the Rivers” since the 1830s or the 1840s. [citation needed]

Following that, the Cumberland River was impounded in the 1960s, and with the construction of a canal between two artificial lakes, Land Between the Lakes became the most significant inland peninsula of the United States. Both rivers are a bit different downstream of this region. The mouth of the Cumberland flows in the Ohio River approximately 4 mi (7 km) from the mouth in Tennessee.

Discover Wildlife

Bison and elk are displayed in The Elk & Bison Prairie in Land Between The Lakes. Explore this beautiful protected area to get the chance to view these fantastic creatures up-close and close and personal. You may have to sit and wait for the animals to leave the way!

Through LBL In LBL, deer beaver, osprey, deer, migratory birds, and bald eagles can be observed along with various other native animals. Woodlands Nature Station Woodlands Nature Station features many live wildlife exhibits and programs for the enjoyment of those who love wildlife.

Experience History

The Civil War was fought on land in the southern part of LBL, where the former location was Fort Henry. Iron furnaces that were in operation during the 1800s are found there, and self-guided tours are available from Center Furnace. Its Homeplace of 1850 is a functioning live-in farm with exhibits, interpreters, and demonstrations of life during the middle of the 19th century.

Cemeteries and the remains of former home communities and sites are scattered across the many back roads in Land Between The Lakes.


There’s nothing like camping in the open air under the stars. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for an ideal spot to park your RV or want a less secluded spot for a tent pitch; Land Between the Lakes is a beautiful place without the mess and noise of the city. People who hike along the numerous trails on the peninsula can discover a variety of excellent spots to set camp for the night.


A 500-mile-long trail system is accessible to the public throughout the year, offering visitors the chance to enjoy the beauty of each season. The shores and fields are filled with native plants and wildlife. Visitors can enjoy exploring the forest areas that are not developed on bicycles, foot, or horseback.

Hiking and Biking

Many trails are open to cyclists and hikers. Woodlands Nature Watch Trails are open to hikers. Trail maps are on the internet on those trails, including the Canal Loop, Central Hardwoods Scenic Trail, Fort Henry Trails, Hillman Heritage National Recreation Trail, and many more.

Explore The Lakes

Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley are located on both sides of Land Between The Lakes, with more than 350 square miles of the lake for fishing, boating, and recreational activities. Numerous boat ramps are located on each lake’s shore. Pontoons and fishing boats, jet skis, houseboats, water toys, and many other rentals are readily available to anyone looking to enjoy a day in the water.

Many resorts and accommodations are situated just in the middle of the lake from LBL. There are more than 200 restaurants just a short distance from LBL and an array of activities that the whole family can enjoy.

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