Welcome to

Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area



    General Questions

    How big is Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area (LBL)?

  • LBL is an 170,000-acre inland peninsula. Approximately 110,000 acres of LBL are in Kentucky and 60,000 acres are in Tennessee. It makes up one of the largest, contiguous blocks of public land in the southeastern United States.
  • Why are there so many cemeteries?

  • Before modern transportation and developed road systems, many families buried their deceased on small family plots or in community church cemeteries. There are more than 270 known cemeteries in Land Between the Lakes. These cemeteries are remnants of the communities that existed prior to the creation of Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake. Please be respectful of these cemeteries and the importance they represent to the people who once lived here.
  • What are your facility fees and hours?

  • Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area is open 24/7 and has no general entrance fee to the recreation area itself. Check our Rates & Hours page for full information on facility hours of operation and fees.

    Facilities Open Year-Round: The Golden Pond Visitor Center, Golden Pond Planetarium, Elk & Bison Prairie, Turkey Bay Off-Highway Vehicle Area, Wranglers Campground, self-guided tours, Brandon Spring Group Center, self service and basic and dispersed camping areas operate year-round.

    Facilities Open Seasonally: The Woodlands Nature Station, Homeplace 1850s Working Farm, North and South Welcome Stations, Piney Campground, Hillman Ferry Campground, and Energy Lake Campground are open seasonally.
  • What is MVUM?

  • MVUM, is a legal document required under the Travel Management Rule that shows trails and roads designated for motor vehicle use.
  • Where can I stay overnight if I do not want to camp?

  • Our four developed campgrounds offer primitive cabins. Additionally, the surrounding region offers four gateway state parks and multiple private lakeside resorts plus an array of hotel accommodations in our surrounding communities.

    Groups can also stay at our year-round, environmental education and recreation facility, Brandon Spring Group Center. Lodging, food service, and programs available. Reservations required.
  • Where can I get gas, food, and other convenience items?

  • The Outposts at Hillman Ferry, Piney and Wranglers Campgrounds offer basic amenities. Our major attraction facilities have soda machines and some snacks in their gift shops. You will find gas stations, grocery stores, retail malls, doctors, hospitals, shopping, and restaurants in our surrounding communities.
  • How do I volunteer?

  • Contact our Friends of Land Between the Lakes volunteer coordinator by phone: 270-924-2007 or email: volunteer@friendsoflbl.org. Check out the Friends of Land Between the Lakes website for more information and upcoming volunteer opportunities. Thank you for your interest!
  • Where can I get information about your internship, apprenticeship, or Resident Attendant positions?

  • If you are interested in any of these programs, you may e-mail us at lblinfo@usda.gov or call 270-924-2000. See the intern and apprentice page for some general information.
  • What do I do if I find an injured animal?

  • If you find an injured or stray animal in Land Between the Lakes, do not try to help the animal yourself. Keep your distance as the animal may become aggressive or injure you in an attempt to get away. Please call the Woodlands Nature Station at 270-924-2299 or Law Enforcement Office at 270-924-2196 .
  • What activities require a Special Use Permit in Land Between the Lakes?

  • We require a Special Use Permit for events such as weddings, reunions, and other recreational programs of 70 people or more, research studies, and commercial activities, such as commercial filming and photography. Firewood permits are available all year. Call 1-800-525-7077 or 270-924-2000 for more information, or see our permits webpage.
  • When are you closed?

  • Our visitor center, welcome stations, and environmental education attractions close for New Years Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. While some of our campgrounds and environmental education facilities close for the winter season, the recreation area itself is open year-round. For more information, see our rates and hours page.

    Open Year-Round: The Golden Pond Visitor Center, Golden Pond Planetarium, Elk & Bison Prairie, Turkey Bay Off-Highway Vehicle Area, Wranglers Campground, self-guided tours, Brandon Spring Group Center, self service and basic and dispersed camping areas operate year-round.

    Open Seasonally: The Woodlands Nature Station, Homeplace 1850s Working Farm, North and South Welcome Stations, Piney Campground, Hillman Ferry Campground, and Energy Lake Campground are open seasonally.
  • Can drones be used in Land Between the Lakes?

  • Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or “Drones” on National Forest Systems Lands

    Know where to fly:

    Individuals and organizations may fly UAS for hobby or recreational purposes in compliance with the Special Rule for Model Aircraft (Section 336 of Public Law 112-95). UAS must be flown below 400 feet and remain clear of surrounding obstacles. UAS are considered to be both “motorized equipment” and “mechanical transport” as such they cannot take off from, land in, or be operated from congressionally designated Wilderness Areas. UAS are not permitted to fly in areas that have “Temporary Flight Restrictions” (TFR) in place. You can search the FAA website for current TFRs. Never fly your UAS over or in close proximity to any fire operation (wildfire or prescribed). UAS flights over fire operations disrupt aerial firefighting operations and create hazardous situations. The Forest Service regularly flies aircraft at low altitudes to perform natural resource management. It is the UAS Operator’s responsibility to be aware of these flights and take the steps necessary to avoid them. Contact the local Ranger District Office or the FAA for scheduled flights in the area. UAS are not allowed in developed campgrounds, facilities or the Elk & Bison Prairie in Land Between the Lakes. Protect Wildlife & the Environment

    Do not fly over congressionally designated Wilderness Areas or Primitive Areas as many people seek these places for the opportunities for solitude and quiet that they provide. Do not fly over or near wildlife as this can create stress that may cause significant harm, and even death. Intentional disturbance of animals during breeding, nesting, rearing of young, or other critical life history functions is not allowed unless approved as research or management. Follow state wildlife and fish agency regulations on the use of UAS to search for or detect wildlife and fish. Launch the UAS more than 100 meters (328 feet) from wildlife. Do not approach animals or birds vertically with the UAS. Fly safely, stay in control:

    Keep your UAS within your visual line of sight at all times. Take lessons and learn to operate your UAS safely. Remain well clear of and do not interfere with manned aircraft operations. Fly your UAS at least 5 miles from an airport or backcountry airstrip. UAS should not be flown over or in close proximity to populated and noise-sensitive areas, such as campgrounds, trail heads, and visitor centers. Obey all privacy laws. Follow Federal Aviation Association (FAA) guidelines:

    Ensure that you comply with all FAA regulations and guidance for flying your UAS. The FAA has authority over all airspace. Do not fly any aircraft weighing more than 55 pounds (total weight, including payload and fuel source).
  • What are the rules for using e-Bikes at Land Between the Lakes?

  • Electric bikes, or e-Bikes, are considered motorized equipment and can only be operated on designated motorized routes (Forest Service legal roads and OHV trails). They are not permitted on non-motorized (hiking/biking/equestrian) trails.
  • Can I bring my dog?

  • Dogs are allowed in Land Between the Lakes but must be on a leash at all times. E-collars are not a substitute for a leash.

    There are some facilities where they are not allowed:

    Pets cannot go into the Woodlands Nature Station. However they do provide an outside kennel for your pet while you tour. Pets cannot go in the Welcome Stations, Visitor Center or Planetarium.

    This does not apply to service animals.

    Hunting Questions

    How can I get an application for a quota hunt?

  • Deer Quota Application Period is July 1 to July 31 on our Deer Quota Hunts webpage.

    Turkey Quota Application Period is February 19 to March 6 on our Turkey Quota Hunts webpage.

    You will need to create an account. You must have an email address unique to each hunter per account.

    We cannot create accounts or take applications over the phone.
  • What are the hunt dates?

  • Refer to the Fact Sheets for Deer, Turkey, and Small Game, Waterfowl and Trapping. Fact Sheets can be found on the Land Between the Lakes hunting page. Click on the tabs under “Hunting Information” for a particular game species’ fact sheet.
  • Can I hunt coyotes at night?

  • NO. Night hunting for coyotes is prohibited on Land Between the Lakes.
  • When is coyote hunting available?

  • A properly licensed hunter may hunt coyotes and coyotes may be taken during daylight hours in any open hunting season with weapons specified for that season. During February, center-fire rifles and handguns, and shotguns with shot size T or smaller may be used for coyotes. Night hunting for coyotes is prohibited on Land Between the Lakes.
  • Can I hunt feral hogs?

  • NO. Hog hunting is prohibited at Land Between the Lakes. It is illegal to chase, hunt, transport, or release feral hogs on Land Between the Lakes. Those caught are subject to citation.

    Hunting feral hogs in Land Between the Lakes is illegal. Throughout the country, research and management efforts have shown that hunting does not control feral hog numbers. Specifically, hunting pressure causes hogs to go nocturnal and actually promotes their spread as they seek areas with less human disturbance. Successful control and removal efforts have very limited success when competing with concurrent pressure from recreational hog hunting. Instead, we are pursuing a cooperative strategy for intensive trapping and removal efforts to effectively control the hog population. Learn more on our feral hog information webpage.
  • What licenses and permits are needed to hunt on Land Between the Lakes?

  • All hunters ages 16 and over must have in their possession at all times:

    Land Between the Lakes Hunter Use Permit. Hunter Use Permits are $25 and are valid for one year from date of purchase. The Hunter Use Permit is available for purchase online, in-person at the Welcome Stations and Visitor Center, or anywhere Tennessee state hunting licenses are sold. It is currently unavailable where Kentucky state hunting licenses are sold.

    Applicable state hunting licenses– ie: must hunt in Kentucky if hunter possesses a Kentucky state license. There is not a reciprocal agreement between states. Quota hunt permit (if applicable). To hunt deer with firearms, hunters must apply during the month of July and be drawn for a quota deer hunt permit. To hunt during the first several days of spring turkey season, hunters must apply during February and be drawn for a quota turkey hunt permit.

    Trapping permit (if applicable)

    Youth Hunter Safety form (if applicable)

    Hunters may use printed or digital documentation with proof of identity.

    Permits can not be changed, altered, or transferred to another hunter.
  • What are the rules and regulations?

  • Land Between the Lakes Rules and Regulations are listed on our website:

    • General Rules and Regulations
    • Hunting Rules
    • Camping Rules
  • What maps are available?

  • The LBL Z-map ($5) or Recreation Map ($16) are available at the visitor centers and campgrounds. They can also be downloaded and printed from our website at landbetweenthelakes.us/maps.

    Restricted Road Access – The roads closed to allow walk-in areas will be barricaded and highlighted on maps at the hunter check stations, and on maps on the website listed above (look for “Turkey Hunt Walk-In Maps”). North & South Maps are available and can be printed from the LBL website. In addition, the Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM), the habitat maps, and the hunt area maps are available on the website. Maps of the campgrounds are also available.
  • Can I hunt anywhere or are areas assigned?

  • Areas are only assigned for quota deer hunts. While other hunting does not have areas assigned, it is unlawful to hunt within 150 yards of any developed area or trail. Additionally, wildlife refuges, Nature Watch Areas, safety zones around facilities, and trails are closed to hunting.

    It is unlawful to discharge a firearm or other implement capable of taking human life within 150 yards of a residence, building, campsite, developed recreation site, or occupied area OR across or on a Forest Development Road or a body of water adjacent to a road, or in a manner or place whereby any person or property is exposed to injury or damage as a result in such discharge, OR into a cave.
  • How do we know hunt zone boundaries?

  • Check the Recreation Map or the Hunt Areas maps on the LBL Maps page. Most of the areas are bounded by roads.