About Us

Visit Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area

Bike, drive, hike, picnic, relax, and watch wildlife… all for free!

Access over 300 miles of undeveloped shoreline, 200 miles of paved roads, 500 miles of trails, and 170,000 acres of forests and open lands.

Prescription Acres
1. Natural Resources Stewardship
1.A. General Forest Areas
Open Lands
1.C. Oak-Grassland Demonstration Areas
1.D. Managed Wetlands
1.E. Wildlife Refuges and No Hunting Areas
2. Administrative Areas
2.A. Utility Corridors
2.B. Infrastructure – Administration, Maintenance, Closed facilities*
2.C. Designated Communication/Electronics Site
3. Recreation and Environmental Education
3.A. Developed Recreation Areas
3.B. Turkey Bay OHV Area
3.C. Environmental Education Facilities
3.D. Nature Watch Demonstration Area
Total Acres

As part of America’s great outdoors since 1963, Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area manages over 170,000 acres of forests, wetlands, and open lands on a peninsula between Kentucky and Barkley lakes in Western Kentucky and Tennessee. This family-friendly recreation area offers one of the largest blocks of undeveloped forest in the eastern United States.

With 300 miles of natural shoreline, lake access provides idyllic settings for camping, picnicking, hiking, fishing, boating, wildlife viewing, and water sports. Licensed hunts for deer, turkey, squirrel and other small game animals occur throughout the year.

We’re located in western Kentucky and Tennessee between Kentucky and Barkley Lakes. We have Grand Rivers, Kentucky to our north and Dover, Tennessee to our south. We sit between Aurora and Cadiz, Kentucky with our Visitor Center in between on the Woodlands Trace National Scenic Byway and US Highway 68/KY80 intersection. 


Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area draws visitors from around the world to escape into nature. People also enjoy the authentic experiences provided by Woodlands Nature Station, Elk & Bison Prairie, Homeplace 1850s Working Farm, and Golden Pond Planetarium and Observatory. Dispersed conservation education can be found throughout the recreation area.

We maintain over 500 miles of trails for hiking, biking, off-road riding, and horseback riding. A horse camp stays open year round for all campers. Scenic drives provide optimum wildlife viewing areas in the comfort of your car.

Innovative resource management draws 240 different species of birds each year. A festival celebrates the hummingbird migration in August and boats take visitors in search of eagles in the winter months.

Cover crops, timber management, and dedicated nature watch areas provide much-needed habitats for a variety of native animals and plants.


Self-guided tours, overnight group facilities, and professional naturalists provide learning activities for everyone. Programs are perfect for school groups, scouts, and homeschoolers. Four major attractions include the Elk & Bison Prairie, the Homeplace 1850s Working Farm and Living History Museum, Woodlands Nature Station, and Golden Pond Planetarium with an observatory hosting star parties.

Land Between the Lakes also serves as a demonstration site for public land management, outdoor recreation, and environmental education studies to develop best practices.  

A short video celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Land Between the Lakes with an overview on YouTube. 

Fast Facts about Land Between the Lakes:

Energy Lake shoreline at Land Between the Lakes.