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4 Reasons To Add Kentucky’s Beautiful Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley To Your Summer Bucket List!

(Grand Rivers, KY)

You might be looking for some summer road trip destinations to visit this year and enjoy the great weather and outdoors. There are many options throughout the states, but one place you shouldn’t count out is Kentucky. The Bluegrass State has a lot to offer from popular tourist towns to beautiful natural areas if you’re willing to take the unbeaten path occasionally.

One such Kentucky destination is near Grand Rivers, a city situated between two lakes and on the top of the famous Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area. This area covers over 170,000 acres of forests, wetlands, and open lands between Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley in Western Kentucky and Tennessee, and it is the perfect destination for a summer road trip with friends or family.

5 Ways to Get Outside on the Turtle River

There are many towns and cities along Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley, but Grand Rivers makes for the perfect home base to explore both of the lakes and the Land Between The Lakes with its prime location near all three. Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley combined to form the largest body of water between the Great Lakes in the north and the Gulf of Mexico in the south, so together they provide plenty of room for water recreation of all kinds. A popular activity enjoyed by many visitors is freshwater fishing, especially with help from Between The Rivers local guide services.

If you don’t have a boat or are unable to haul yours, you can rent one for the day from Green Turtle Bay Resort. The resort’s Main Harbor Marina, as well as Lighthouse Landing, are two great places to access the lakes, grab all the supplies you’ll need, and start your day off on the right foot. You can also rent a kayak or canoe for an epic day of paddling.

5 Ways to Get Outside on the Turtle River

With endless options for attractions, campgrounds, and outdoor recreation spots, the Land Between The Lakes Area will keep you busy for as long as you like. Imagine 300 miles of undeveloped shoreline, 200 miles of paved roads, 500 miles of trails, and 170,000 acres of forests and open lands all in one place. This area is a dream destination for outdoor enthusiasts and it is a great place to get outdoors and enjoy nice summer days.

The Land Between The Lakes Area is a great place to go birding, boating, kayaking and canoeing, fishing, geocaching, picnicking, and swimming. An additional bonus is the rental places nearby in the surrounding communities for any equipment you may need. You can check out this handy list of communities nearby the area and the services they offer to make planning your trip that much easier. With summer right around the corner, it is a great time to start making plans to take advantage of the nice weather and the Land Between The Lake Area is a great place to add to the list.

5 Ways to Get Outside on the Turtle River

Every great trip begins with a great place to stay. After a long, fun day of hitting the lakes or exploring the outdoors, you’ll want to go back to a nice space where the fun can continue with great food, drinks, and living spaces. Luckily, Grand Rivers offers plenty of options for lodges, cabins, resorts, bed and breakfasts, and campgrounds for visiting guests to enjoy.

Two great options for resorts are Green Turtle Bay Resort and Lighthouse Landing Resort, both of which offer vacation rentals, beautiful views of the water, and marina access, among other great amenities. The Grand Rivers Inn is another great place, or you can snag a spot at the Rose of the Lakes Bed & Breakfast for a charming stay including breakfast, viewing decks, gardens, a pool, and a complimentary golf cart. There are other options for vacation rentals by owners and some great family friendly campgrounds like Tween The Lakes RV Park And Campground, Canal Campground, and Hillman Ferry Campground.

5 Ways to Get Outside on the Turtle River

Whether you’re a hiker, biker, runner, ATV rider, horseback rider, or a water enthusiast, the Grand Rivers area into the Land Between The Lakes Area has your trail. Throughout the recreation area there are miles of hiking trails that can take you on either a short hike or down the entire length of the peninsula. Canal Loop Trail is great for all hikers, as you can choose whether you want to go 1.5 miles to 14 miles and anything in between. If trekking the entire peninsula sounds exciting, then the 58 mile LBL North South Trail is perfect for you. Bikers and horseback riders are also welcome on these multi-use trails, though horseback riding is most popular in the Wrangler’s Camp area.

If you’d rather explore on an ATV (or any OHV) or a kayak and canoe, the Grand Rivers area also has you covered. On the LBL North South Trail, there are over 2,500 acres set aside for OHV riding, or you can check out Turkey Bay OHV/ATV Area for more trails. Then, if you plan on hitting the water, water trails for paddlers can be found along the shores of the Land Between The Lakes on Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley.

I am a student, aspiring writer, and avid reader of books. My favorite things in the world are my two German Shepherds.

Maeve Miller

Writer , River Travel Magazine