Top Things To See and Do at Land Between the Lakes

Western Kentucky's Favorite National Recreation Area

Land Between the Lakes is a national recreation area in western Kentucky that is popular for outdoor recreation. Whether you're camping for a few days or just here on a day trip, LBL offers visitors plenty of things to see and do. Here are the most popular activities and attractions.

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recreational vehicle in camping spot
Land Between the Lakes

Land Between the Lakes offers camping accommodations for backpackers, car campers, RVers, OHV drivers, horse lovers, boaters, canoeists, and fishermen. You'll find a campsite here for every type of camper. 

Reservations are available 48 hours in advance and up to 6 months in advance for campsites at Energy Lake, Hillman Ferry, Piney, and Wranglers. The rest of the campsites are first come, first served. 

Wranglers Campground, Backcountry Camping, and Self-Service Campgrounds areas are open all year. Hillman Ferry, Energy Lake, and Piney Campgrounds are open March through November. Developed campgrounds offer different amenities at each location, including RV hook-ups, restroom and shower facilities, bike and canoe rentals (in season), and beach and activity areas.  

Primitive camping shelters are available at Energy, Piney, and Wranglers Campgrounds. You must bring your own bedding.

You can also go backcountry camping just about anywhere in Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area.

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The waters of Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley surround Land Between the Lakes on three sides, making LBL one of the premier sport fishing spots in the country. Anglers come here to fish for crappie, bass, sauger, catfish, and bluegill. And in late fall, they come here for some great smallmouth bass fishing.

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Elk and Bison Prairie

Bison sitting by lake
Land Between the Lakes

750 acres of LBL are enclosed in order to restore it to its native prairie grass habitat. As part of the recovery process, elk and bison have been introduced here too. Visitors can experience the wildlife up close with a leisurely drive along an interpretive road, which winds through the prairie.

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Woodlands Nature Station

Hawk and handler
Land Between the Lakes

Explore the indoor discovery center and outdoor wildlife exhibits at the Woodlands Nature Station. Visitors can experience the plants and animals of the region up close. Guided hiking, biking, and canoe excursions are available in spring, summer, and fall. You can rent mountain bikes and canoes here too.

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Horseback Riding

Group on horseback
Land Between the Lakes

Horseback riders can saddle up at Wranglers Campground and explore over 70 miles of trails and old roads that lead to some of the most scenic spots at Land Between the Lakes. After a day of riding, return to the campground, which has stalls, hitching posts, and hot showers.

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The Homeplace 1850s Working Farm

19th century farmhouse
Land Between the Lakes

This living history farm takes visitors back to a time when farmers made their livelihood off the land. Talk with interpreters or lend a hand with farm chores. See how folks lived in a mid-19th-century rural community.

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Hiking and Biking Trails

Hikers on a trail
Land Between the Lakes

More than 200 miles of trails are available to hikers and backpackers. Take the grand tour on the North South Trail, which spans the length of LBL. In the south, follow General Grant's footsteps along the Fort Henry National Recreation Trail. In the north, view beautiful lake views along the Canal Loop Trail. These and all the other trails offer scenic views and opportunities to see wildlife.

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Golden Pond Planetarium

Watch simulated astral phenomena on the planetarium's 40-foot dome, observe stars through four telescopes, or witness solar flares using the Hydrogen-Alpha refractor. The planetarium offers several different shows daily, from March to December. The observatory is also home to the West Kentucky Amateur Astronomers.

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Land Between the Lakes

Land Between the Lakes offers over 230 days of in-season hunting, which includes annual spring quota and non-quota hunts for turkey and fall archery and quota gun hunts for deer.

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Turkey Bay OHV Area

ATV riders
Land Between the Lakes

"Turkey Bay has approximately 100 miles of OHV trails which cover a variety of terrain, offering something for every skill level. Flat meadows, mud bogs, rolling hills and rocky plateaus await the adventuresome!" - LBL. Strict rules apply, but if you want a place with lots of room to enjoy your trail bikes and ATVs, this is it.

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