Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area
The Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers run roughly parallel through western Kentucky. Both have had dams constructed near Grand Rivers for flood control and power production. The Tennessee River was dammed to make Kentucky Lake and the Cumberland River to make Lake Barkley. A canal between the two lakes was dug at Grand Rivers, creating an inland peninsula. The federal government purchased all of the land between the lakes to create Land Between The Lakes (LBL), a 170,000-acre national recreation area. Land Between the Lakes offers all the outdoor recreation “basics” with opportunities for environmental and historic interpretation. Experience the environment through hands-on excitement at LBL. LBL has many hiking and biking trails, horseback riding, an off-road vehicle area, camping, drag boat racing and much more. Grand Rivers is the only community that fronts on both Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley. Water recreation is nearly limitless in this area and so is camping, hiking, biking and other outdoor recreation.
Flora and fauna
Visitors can make entry into the Land Between The Lakes via three roadways. From the west and east, US Highway 68 crosses through the central part of the park during its course between Benton and Cadiz, Kentucky. The Trace is the main north-south artery in the park that can be accessed via Exit 31 off Interstate 24 near Grand Rivers, or US Highway 79 from the west side of Dover, Tennessee.
There is no public transportation in the park.
A gift shop is available at the Golden Pond Visitors Center at the intersection of US Highway 68 and the Woodlands Trace National Scenic Byway (The Trace). There are also gift shops at the Homeplace, and at the north and south welcome centers along The Trace.
There are no eating places within the park, although picnic areas are available in the park. Below are the nearest restaurants in the region.
Sunset Motor Inn 314 Highway 79, Dover, TN
Just east of Lake Barkley on Hwy 79. Easy to miss the steep entrance. Just turn as soon as you see the sign! Phone: 931-232-5102 Price: $40 Stayed 9-17-2010.
Basic, clean, cheap rooms with a great view of Lake Barkley, including the sunset in the name. It was just what I needed: a place to sleep, shower, and write some notes.
It's an old-fashioned motor inn with a row of rooms and doors onto the parking lot. Apparently a one-man operation, so you may have to wait for the owner to finish up another chore. No lobby, but each room has a chair out back, through a sliding door, to sit and enjoy the view over the lake.
Marginal wi-fi internet access, which the owner says he's trying to improve. Microwave available at front desk. Small fridge in room. Small TV with cable, but no premium channels.
A great find if you just want a quiet, cheap place to crash for the night.
There are also several backcountry camping sites throughout the recreation area. More information of what and where they are, along with any fees, can be found at LBL.org, or call the toll-free number listed in the contact section. Annual Backcountry camping permits are $30.00 per person 18 years of age or older, and free for ages 17 or younger. 3-day permits for adults age 18 or older are $7.00 per person, and Group backcountry camping permits are available for a one time fee of $25.00 for groups with affiliations with non-profit, youth, or charitable organization. Permits can be purchased at the LBL Administration office.
Contact (insert b/w the stay safe and get out sections)
Here are important contact items to know for reference for an upcoming trip to the LBL and for more information.