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
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.