Scenic Drives and Walks

Scenic Drives and Walks

Below are a few of the popular driving spots around Land Between the Lakes. Refer to the Maps page’s Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) section for Forest Service (FS) road numbers. Some also appear on the Recreation Map section. Enjoy your time and stay safe!

Looking for wildlife? For more wildlife watching, hikes, and scenic drives, read about our Nature Watch areas and our Wildlife Viewing opportunities.

Know before you go! Always check the Alerts page for important notices on road/trail closures before heading out on your scenic drive.

Woodlands Trace

Travel this 43-mile National Scenic Byway and stop along the way for nature viewing and conservation education fun. This partial list below for scenic views starts from Grand Rivers, Kentucky and travels south to Dover, Tennessee.

Kentucky Lake Drive - Woodlands Trace

This 3-mile drive on the northern end of Land Between the Lakes provides several overlooks on Kentucky Lake, picnic areas, plus hiking and biking trails. It also serves as a popular birding spot.

FS Rd #127

Off of Old Ferry Road, FS Rd #117

This is a beautiful drive with a great mixture of forests and open lands which heads to our northern most point. With a scope or binoculars, you can view a 4-acre island filled with 7 species of heron and egrets plus a 2-acre island filled with nesting cormorants. You can see stunning sunsets and sunrises at this point. CAUTION: Please do not travel to the islands. You will harm nesting birds.

Pisgah Point - FS Rd #111

Offers views of winter waterfowl and eagles.

Smith Bay - FS Rd #114 and #116

Better than Pisgah Point for winter waterfowl and eagle viewing as the enclosed bay keeps wildlife closer. Hills may be icy in winter. Side bays offer better waterfowl viewing.

Duncan Lake - FS Rd #132

Great spot to see multitudes of eagles during the hours of dawn to 9am and 3pm to dusk in winter.
IMPORTANT:  Eagles and other birds are vulnerable to disturbance. Wildlife viewers must stay on the gravel road. People getting too close to eagles will disturb them which may cause eagles to abandon the site.

Energy Lake - FS Rd #134

Great for winter waterfowl viewing, canoeing, and kayaking on this inland lake. The adjacent refuge closes November 1 through March 15. Please view in; don’t go in.

Ferguson Springs - FS Rd #147 and #324

You’ll find our largest and most unique beaver marsh which also provides up-close viewing of wetland birds, beavers, owls, and wildflowers in spring from April to June. Listen to frog choruses here as well. This road travels next to a refuge. View in; don’t go in from Nov. 1 through March 15.

Crooked Creek -Jenny Ridge Road - FS Rd #153

Great place for a summertime creek walk and for families to explore. This scenic drive offers fall colors, wildflowers, and a variety of birds.

Elk & Bison Prairie - Woodlands Trace

Travel this 3-mile loop multiple times in this 700-acre restored native habitat. Elk and bison babies arrive in the spring. From May to June you will find native and migratory birds feasting on the abundant native plants and wildflower. Watch migratory butterflies in June and September.

To see bison and elk, cool weather is best between September through February with September the ultimate. October offers incredible elk bugling. In hotter weather, early morning and late afternoon/early evening offer best viewing times. Open dawn to dusk. $5/vehicle.

For more information on the Elk & Bison Prairie, click the Elk and Bison Prairie page.

South Bison Range - Woodlands Trace

Great place to watch bison behavior and open land birds like bluebirds, buntings, and hawks. Located across from the Homeplace on the Trace.

South Oak Grassland - FS Rd #201

Great for birding near Prior Bay. Beautiful fall colors line the roadways. Watch the progress as we continue to restore this grassland area.

Crutchers’ Hollow - FS Rd #213

Make this your “spectacular” spot for wildflower viewing March through May.

Boswell Landing - FS Rd #233

Great view of Kentucky Lake with beautiful sunsets. Boswell Landing also provides the best spot on our southern end for eagle viewing.

Panther Bay Area - FS Rd #230 #396

Offers a great place for a summertime creek walk. Perfect for families to explore.

The Homeplace - Woodlands Trace

Step back in time to the 1850s when two generations of farmers worked this hollow. Explore 14 original buildings, period crops and animals at the Homeplace 1850s Working Farm.

For more information on the Homeplace, click the Homeplace page

Beaver lodges can be seen along the lake shore, Photo by Kelly Sellers, Beaver Lodge on Honker Lake
Beaver lodges can be seen along the lake shore, Photo by Kelly Sellers, Beaver Lodge on Honker Lake