Q. How big is Land Between the Lakes
A. Land Between the Lakes has approximately 110,000 acres in Kentucky and 60,000 acres in Tennessee. At total of 170,000 acres.
Q. Do people live in Land Between the Lakes
A. Land Between the Lakes serves as part of the United States Public Lands Program managed by the USDA Forest Service. No private dwellings remain within its boundaries.
Q. Can I bring my pet?
A. Pets are allowed at Land Between the Lakes including on our trails and campgrounds. Pets must be on a leash and under physical control at all times — especially when encountering other users on the trails. For health and sanitation purposes, you are required to clean up after your pet. Remember, never leave your pet in a hot car.
You may also have your pet at the Elk & Bison Prairie in the vehicle only.
Pets are allowed at the Homeplace.
Dogs are not permitted at the Nature Station. However, there is a kennel you may use to keep your dog while you visit.
Due to the wild animal displays in the backyard, the Nature Station offers kennels for pets whose owners want to visit the facility. Exceptions are made for dogs used for accessibility, such as guide dogs.
Dogs may not be left unattended at campsites and are not allowed inside the Camping Shelters.
Q. Why are there so many cemeteries?
A. Before modern transportation and developed road systems, many families buried their dead on small family plots or in community church cemeteries. There are more than 240 known cemeteries in Land Between the Lakes. These cemeteries are remnants of the communities that existed prior to the creation of Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake. Please be respectful of these cemeteries and the importance they represent to the people who once lived here.
Q. Are facilities open year-round?
A. The Golden Pond Visitor Center, Golden Pond Planetarium, Elk & Bison Prairie, Turkey Bay Off-Highway Vehicle Area, Wranglers Campground, dispersed recreation, self-guided tours, and other backcountry camping areas operate year-round.
Q. What is MVUM?
A. Motorized Vehicle Use Map, or MVUM, is a legal document required under the Travel Management Rule that shows trails and roads designated for motor vehicle use.
Q. Where can I stay overnight if I do not want to camp?
A. The region offers four gateway state parks and multiple private lakeside resorts plus various ratings of hotel accommodations in our surrounding communities.
Q. Where can I get gas, food, and other convenience items?
A. The Outposts at Hillman Ferry, Piney and Wrangler Campgrounds offer basic amenities. Our major attraction facilities have soda machines and some snacks in their gift shops. You will find gas stations, grocery stores, retail malls, doctors, hospitals, and restaurants in our surrounding communities.
Q. How do I volunteer?
A. Call our Friends of Land Between the Lakes volunteer coordinator at 270-924-2007.
Q. Where can I get information about your internship, apprenticeship, or Resident Attendant positions?
A. If you are interested in any of these programs, you may e-mail us at LBLinfo@fs.fed.us or call 270-924-2000.
Q. What do I do if I find an injured animal?
A. If you find an injured or stray animal in Land Between the Lakes, do not try to help the animal yourself. Keep your distance as the animal may become aggressive or injure you in an attempt to get away. Please call Woodlands Nature Station at 270-924-2299 or Law Enforcement Office at 270-924-2196.
Q. What activities require a Special Use Permit in Land Between The Lakes?
A. We require a Special Use Permit for events such as weddings, reunions, and other recreational programs of 70 people or more, research studies, and commercial activities. Firewood permits are available all year. Call 1-800-525-7077 or 270-924-2000 for more information.
Q. When are you closed?
A. Facilities close down for New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
Q. Is hunting allowed?
A. Land Between the Lakes is a National Recreation Area, and hunting is a popular recreational pursuit here. We ask that everyone understand our hunting rules. Visit our Visitor Center for hunting regulations and dates.
Q. What licenses and permits are needed to hunt on Land Between The Lakes?
A. All hunters age 16 and older need a $25 Land Between the Lakes Hunter Use Permit. A combination Hunting/Backcountry Camping Permit is available for $35. Additionally, state hunting license and tags for the type of hunting you are doing, and a Hunter Safety Card are needed according to state regulations for the KY/TN portion of Land Between the Lakes you are hunting.
Q. Where can I get a Hunter Use Permit?
A. Purchase a Hunter Use Permit online 24/7, at any of our developed campgrounds, the Administrative Office, Visitor Center, and North/South Welcome Stations. Plus anywhere you purchase a hunting license. They expire February 28 each year.
Q. Can I hunt from horseback?
A. Yes, hunting from horseback is permitted for small game hunting only. You may also ride horses during authorized field trials and while training dogs in the field trial areas.
Q. Do you have a practice range?
A. Yes, the Golden Pond Target Range, located just north of US68/KY80, offers separate shooting and archery ranges.
Q. What maps are available?
A. The Land Between the Lakes Recreation Map is available at the visitor centers for $3. It can also be downloaded and printed from our website. Turkey Walk-In Roads North & South Maps are available and can be printed from the Land Between the Lakes website. In addition, the Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM), the habitat maps, and the hunt area maps are available on the website. Maps of the campgrounds are also available.
Q. Can I hunt anywhere or are areas assigned?
A. Areas are assigned only for quota deer hunts. Other hunting does not have areas assigned. Wildlife refuges, Nature Watch Areas, and safety zones, trails, around facilities are closed to hunting.
Q. How do we know hunt zone boundaries?
A. Check the Recreation Map or the Hunt Areas maps on the Land Between the Lakes website. Most of the areas are bounded by roads.
Q. How are state lines marked?
A. Trees were marked with yellow paint, but a lot of the markings may be faded or gone. It is the responsibility of the hunter to be in the correct state.
Q. Do I need a hunter safety card?
A. Anyone in KY born on or after Jan 1, 1975 and anyone in TN born on or after Jan1, 1969 must possess a hunter safety card while hunting, unless the person is exempted by state regulations.
Q. My child is too young to take the hunter education class. What is needed?
A. There is a list of safety instructions on our quota hunt website, https://lblquotahunt.hometracker.com or our Hunting webpage. For those youth who are not required to have a hunter safety card, print off the page, go over the items with the youth, and sign the page signifying that you have reviewed the items with the youth. The adult accompanying the youth should carry the signed paper while hunting with the youth.
Q. Can I hunt both Kentucky and Tennessee?
A. You have to have the state licenses for the state where you are hunting. You can hunt in both states if you have licenses for both states. The Land Between the Lakes Hunter Use Permit is valid for all game in both states. For deer hunting, only one antlered buck can be taken in Land Between the Lakes even if you are hunting both states.
Q. Where can I camp? Do I need reservations? What is the cost?
A. Camping is available at campgrounds and camping areas. Reservations can be made for large family campgrounds, but camping is available on a first-come, first-served basis also. (See the Rates and Hours brochure to get various rates.) Backcountry camping is also available with information below.
Q. Do you have cabins available?
A. Camping cabins are available at Piney Campground in the TN portion and Wranglers Campground in the KY portion of Land Between the Lakes. (See Rates and Hours brochure for a description of cabin contents.)
Q. Where can I backcountry camp? Who needs a permit?
A. Backcountry camping is permitted anywhere in Land Between the Lakes except in the Nature Watch Demonstration Areas, Brandon Spring Group Center, fee campgrounds, cemeteries, picnic areas, and within 200 yards of US Hwy 68/80, The Trace, Silver Trail Road, Mulberry Flat Road, and Fort Henry Road. Anyone age 18 and older needs a backcountry camping permit, or combination Hunter Use/Backcountry Permit, for backcountry camping. See Camping Rules
Q. How much does a backcountry camping permit cost and how long is it good for?
A. Backcountry camping requires a permit for each person age 18 & older; $30 annual permit, $7 three-day permit, or $35 Combination Hunter Use Permit/ Backcountry Camping Permit and is permitted anywhere in Land Between the Lakes except Nature Watch Areas, Brandon Spring Group Center, cemeteries, picnic areas, and within 200 yards of Woodlands Trace, Silver Trail Road, Mulberry Flat Road, and Fort Henry Road. See Camping Rules
Q. What is the current wild hog situation on Land Between The Lakes?
A. We have received reports of wild hogs on Land Between the Lakes, but hogs are not allowed to be hunted here. We are working with USDA APHIS and state wildlife agencies to eradicate wild hogs on Land Between the Lakes.
Q. When is coyote hunting available?
A. Coyotes may be taken during daylight hours in any open hunting season with weapons specified for that season. During February, center-fire rifles and handguns, and shotguns with shot size T or smaller may be used for coyotes. Hand, mouth, or electronic calling devices are permitted. Night hunting for coyotes is prohibited in Land Between the Lakes. See Hunting Rules and Rules and Regulations
Q. How are Land Between the Lakes and National Wildlife Turkey Federation connected?
A. Land Between The Lakes has a stewardship agreement with the NWTF. They help us with forest and open land management for wildlife.
Q. Will there be any prescribed burns this year and if so, how will it affect hunting?
A. Yes, there are prescribed burns planned for this upcoming year, weather permitting. They will blacken an area for a short time but in the long run, will help to stimulate and improve wildlife habitat. Check Alerts and Notices for additional burn information, including location and estimated timing. Prescribed burns require very specific conditions and may be conducted at any time of the year when conditions are right.
Q. Where can I camp?
A. You may camp almost anywhere in Land Between the Lakes. There are developed campgrounds and basic camping sites throughout the recreation area.
Q. How long can I stay at the campgrounds?
A. Campground regulations state that you may stay 21 consecutive days at most campsites. If you are backcountry camping, you may stay a maximum of 14 consecutive days.
Q. Do I need a camping permit if I want to camp somewhere other than a developed campground? How about others with me?
A. Yes. If age 18 or older, you must have a Backcountry Camping Permit. Each person in your group needs one. Campers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Q. Where do I get a Backcountry Camping Permit?
A. You may purchase a Backcountry Camping Permit online 24/7, at Golden Pond Visitor Center, Turkey Bay OHV Area, Hillman Ferry, Piney, Energy Lake, or Wranglers Campground. North or South Welcome Stations, Woodlands Nature Station, and he Homeplace 1850s Farm sell Backcountry Camping Permits seasonally. If you arrive after 5pm, go to the nearest campground gatehouse (Hillman, Piney, Wranglers).
Q. Is RV camping allowed?
A. Yes. Hillman Ferry, Piney, Wranglers, and Energy Lake are popular among RVers. These campgrounds provide water, electric, and sewer sites for motor home use, as well as picnic tables, shower buildings, and other amenities. Most RV sizes can be accommodated with some restrictions.
Q. Are any camping shelters/cabins available?
A. We offer primitive cabins at Piney and Wranglers Campgrounds for less rustic campers or for those who do not have camping equipment. These one-room cabins offer bunk beds, tables, chairs, ceiling fans, electric outlets, large porch, picnic tables, and fire rings. Those staying in cabins use the restrooms and shower facilities and provide their own bed linens.
Q. How do I make reservations?
A. Reservations may be made through the our website or by calling 1-800-525-7077. Reservations may be made from two days to up to six months in advance. Reservations may be made at Hillman Ferry, Energy Lake, Wranglers, and Piney Campgrounds. There are a mix of reservable sites and walk-in only sites.
Q. How do I get a refund on a reservation or cancel a reservation?
A. For refunds or cancellations, please call the campground Call Center at 1-800-525-7077. You may also cancel or modify a reservation via the Reservation website https://www.usedirect.com/CampLBL/.
Q. Where do I go to get ice, firewood, and other camping amenities?
A. Our Outpost Supply Centers at Piney, Hillman Ferry, and Wranglers Campgrounds offer basic camping amenities such as ice and firewood. Energy campground also sells ice and firewood. Cravens Bay sells ice. Any supplies needed which are not available at the outpost supply centers can be purchased in neighboring communities.
Q. Is there a campground that allows horses
A. Yes, Wranglers Campground.
Q. What fish species can be caught in Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley?
A. There are many varieties of fish found in the lakes including largemouth, smallmouth, and Kentucky spotted bass; bream; black and white crappie; white and yellow bass; blue catfish; channel catfish; bluegill and other sunfish; and sauger.
Q. I don’t have a boat and want to fish. Where can I go?
A. Bank fishing is permitted almost anywhere along the lake shoreline. We suggest the floating fishing piers at Devil’s Elbow and Crooked Creek, or near the bridge at Fenton. You may also fish at Energy Lake Dam, Bards Lake, Honker Lake, or Hematite Lake near Center Furnace. The states prohibit fishing from bridges. If you prefer to fish from a boat, check out area marinas.
Q. What licenses and permits are needed to fish on Land Between the Lakes?
A. All that is needed is the required state fishing license.
Q. Where do I get a fishing license?
A. Licenses may be purchased at regional county courthouses, marinas, sporting goods stores, bait shops, and grocery stores. We do not sell state hunting and fishing licenses.
Q. What are the fish limits and regulations?
A. We offer some of the nation’s best sport fishing opportunities for crappie, bass, sauger, catfish, and bluegill. Check out the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife or the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) for state regulations and licensing. For anglers 16 and older (13 and older in Tennessee), only a state fishing license is required. Anglers must have a license for the state in which they are fishing. Anglers should carefully examine state regulations as size and creel limits can vary, dependent upon where you are fishing. The state line is marked by signs on the shore. You can get our Fishing Report by dialing 270-924-2000. You can also pick up our Angling Guide available at North & South Welcome Stations and Golden Pond Visitor Center specific to fishing the ponds and embayments within Land Between The Lakes.
Q. How do I obtain a riding permit?
A. All visitors must complete and sign a 2016 Turkey Bay OHV Area Registration and Liability Waiver Form before purchasing a riding permit. Each vehicle taken off-road must have a permit. Permits may be purchased at Turkey Bay Gatehouse, Golden Pond Visitor Center, and seasonally at both North and South Welcome Stations.
Q. Can I camp in Turkey Bay?
A. Yes. Camping in Turkey Bay is primitive. Picnic tables and fire rings are available throughout the camping areas. Drinking water and outdoor toilets are also provided along with two, 24-hour generator areas where campers must supply their own generators. Camping permits are $8 per camping unit per night and may be purchased at the gatehouse. If the gatehouse is unattended, an honor fee system is provided.
Q. What are the trails like?
A. Turkey Bay has trails for novice, intermediate, and experienced riders. All trails are two directions. The main trail (marked with yellow diamonds) is fairly easy for novice riders to navigate. Secondary trails (marked with orange diamonds) are somewhat narrower and serve as connector trails between points on the main trail loops. Tertiary trails (marked with blue diamonds) are the narrowest, most challenging trails. These trails should be ridden with caution. Trail surface types include thick sandy gravel, chert-style rock, root-strewn tread, and deep gravel.
Q. Are there challenge areas in Turkey Bay?
A. Yes. We’ve marked challenge area boundaries with red rings on the trees. These typically offer 2 to 10 acres of steep, washed out hill climbs, and are also the most difficult in the trails system. Although trails within these areas will not be signed, please utilize established trails. Riding outside of established trails is prohibited.
Q. Can I have a passenger in my vehicle?
A. It depends on your vehicle. If equipped with a roll-cage, seatbelts, and designed by the manufacturer to carry more than one person, then a passenger is allowed (i.e. street legal vehicles, buggies, side-by-sides). If not designed or not equipped, the answer is ‘No’ for dirt bikes and most ATVs. Look at manufacturer sticker for guidance.
Q. Where is the nearest gas station/bike shop/parts dealer?
A. You can purchase fuel in our neighboring communities, approximately 6 miles away. We have a list of area stores for bike and motor parts at the gatehouse.
Q. Are there shower buildings?
A. No. Campers can shower at Wrangler Campground with their camping permit.
Q. Can I ride to/ from other campgrounds?
A. No. All non-street legal vehicles must be trailered in from adjacent areas to Turkey Bay. Parking at Turkey Bay is free.
Q. Is there an area for small children to ride?
A. Yes. Turkey Trot kid’s area is the perfect place for children under age 16 with proper size OHV to learn proper riding techniques under parental supervision.
Q. Can I use my metal detector at Land Between the Lakes?
A. No. Metal detectors are not permitted on any federal public land.
Q. Where can I rent a boat, kayak, or canoe?
A. Energy Lake rents canoes and you will find canoe and kayak rentals at Nature Station. To rent a boat, go to any of the local state resort parks or private marinas.
Q. Where are boat ramps located?
A. We provide over 20 public boat ramps; these are marked with boat ramp/lake access signs. You can also find a boat ramp at all designated Backcountry Camping Areas.
Q. What are your firearm restrictions?
A. Land Between the Lakes is a Wildlife Management Area (WMA). The Code of Federal Regulations concerning firearms in Land Between the Lakes (CFR 261.53E) states that possession of firearms is prohibited except during legal firearms hunting seasons and going to and from the Land Between the Lakes Target Range. Firearms must be unloaded and cased when transporting.
Q. Where can I swim? Is there a fee?
A. If you are looking for a place to swim and play in the water, anywhere is fine. Backcountry Camping Areas offer good swimming and lake access. Moss Creek Day-Use Area serves as our most popular swimming area. Swimming in either Kentucky Lake or Lake Barkley is at your own risk. Non-swimmers and children should wear personal floatation devices (PFD). We recommend you also wear some sort of water shoes for your own protection. The water feels great and many visitors enjoy walking our shores. Have fun and be safe!
Q. What are your best hike and bike trails?
A. There are numerous scenic trails for hiking and biking. Trails include point-to-point, long distance, and loop for hiking with paved roads and mountain biking trails for biking. For trail information, visit any of our facilities or online at Quick Links or Maps.
Q. When is the best time to hear the elk bugling at the Elk & Bison Prairie?
A. The peak of bugling season usually occurs from mid-September to mid-October in the afternoon hours.
Q. Will the elk and bison get enough to eat in a 700-acre enclosure?
A. Yes, as with most species sharing the same habitat, elk and bison have evolved different eating behaviors. Although there is some overlap, elk for the most part eat woody “browse” – shrubs, twigs, and leaves – and some grasses. Bison for the most part eat grass. If needed, we supplement the food supply with hay during winter months.
Q. How long will it take for the prairie to be completely restored?
A. This is a long-term project requiring monitoring of wildlife populations, grass re-seeding, controlled burning, and habitat monitoring.
Q. Why were Canadian elk introduced into the prairie? Why not Rocky Mountain elk?
A. Canadian elk were readily available and were disease free. In addition, biologists believe the Manitoban sub-species released in the Prairie closely resembled the Eastern elk which became extinct around 200 years ago.