Hiking and Biking

You can expect a variety of hiking and biking opportunities in the LBL trail system. Around 100 miles of trails and 200 miles of scenic roads are open for you to explore, and, in many cases, these rustic thoroughfares are the only way to reach some of the most beautiful spots in the Land Between the Lakes.

  • Trails are open year-round
  • Be sure to heck the Forest Service Alerts Page for additional info about trails that may impact your visit

Please note: Ebikes are considered motorized equipment and can only be operated on designated motorized routes (FS legal roads and OHV trails). They are not permitted on non-motorized (hiking/biking/equestrian) trails.

Canal Loop Trail
This 11-mile loop has 4 connectors providing up to 14 miles of trail opportunities. One of our most popular mountain biking trails, the Canal Loop offers spectacular lake views, a variety of challenging terrain, and opportunities for short or long loops.

Canal Loop Trail Map

Central Hardwoods Scenic Trail
This trail provides users with smooth surfaces, gentle grades, and trailside rest areas. It runs parallel with US68/KY80 highways. The paved 2.5 miles on the eastern portion provides shoreline views of Lake Barkley and wildlife viewing opportunities in open areas. The 8.5 miles of the central and western portions use a compacted stone surface. Explore rolling hills and ridge tops of a central hardwoods forest ecosystem.

Central Hardwoods Scenic Trail Map

Fort Henry Trail
Located in the south end of Land Between the Lakes, The Fort Henry Trail System connects 9 trails totaling approximately 27 miles. These trails follow the route of General Grant’s troop movements from Fort Henry to Fort Donelson during the Civil War. The Fort Henry trail system offers hikers/bikers some of the best opportunities for solitude at Land Between the Lakes.

Fort Henry Trail Map

CLOSURE INFORMATION:

Connector #1 Trail Closure – The Fort Henry Trails Connector #1 will be closed until further notice after sustaining significant damage from the December 10, 2021 tornado. The solid red line on the map below represents the closure. Trail users should utilize Connector #2 (Boswell Landing) or Connector #3 (near FS Road 230) to access Pickett Loop Trail.

Tornado Impacts and Safety Information for Fort Henry Trail


Connector #1 Trail within the Fort Henry Trails has been closed, marked in red.

Hillman Heritage National Recreation Trail
Check-in and register at Hillman Ferry Gatehouse The 5.47 miles of trails within the Hillman Ferry Campground woods are listed as a Heritage National Recreation Trail for hiking and biking only. These trails follow historic roads used by the former Star Lime Works community disbanded during construction of the Kentucky Lake reservoir and dam. The trails are open to Hillman campers, as well as the general public, for hiking and biking. There is a small parking lot on the north (right) side of the Hillman Ferry Campground entrance road, just before the gatehouse, for the general public.

Hillman Heritage National Recreation Trail Map

North/South Trail - North End
This 59-mile trail spans the entire length of the recreation area. Terrain ranges from rugged, hilly areas in the north to easier, less strenuous hiking in the south. You can access sections of this trail from points along a variety of Forest Service roads and facilities. The 31-mile North End of the trail is open to both biking and hiking.

North/South Trail-North End Map
North/South Trail – South End Map

North End DETOUR — A detour has been established to bypass sections of the North/South Trail that were severely damaged during the December 10, 2021 tornados. Approximately 2.5 miles of the North/South Trail will be closed indefinitely between FS Road 106 and points south of FS Road 110. Barricades are placed on the trail at these locations. The detour (approx. 2.6 miles) utilizes portions of FS Roads 106, 107, 110, and paved trails in the vicinity. Trail users should look for “detour” decals on white posts installed at intersections and follow the white diamonds between posts. On the attached map, the red line is the trail closure and the yellow line is the detour.


Woodlands Nature Watch Trails
(Hiking Only)
Our Woodlands Nature Watch Area offer optimum opportunity to see native wildlife at Land Between the Lakes. We manage the area to keep the forest healthy and to keep invasive species from taking control of our native landscape. We also plant crops to help native wildlife build habitats for healthy living and hide from predators.

Nature Station Trails Map
More Information About Woodlands Nature Watch Areas

Hematite Trail
(Hiking Only)
Encircling 80-acre Hematite Lake, this 2.2 mile loop trail is known for its high diversity of birds, reptiles, amphibians, and woodland wildflowers. The landscape is marked with scars of the iron industry. This forest patch hosts the closest to “old growth” forest in Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area.

This trail also features a ¼ mile long wetland boardwalk. Canebrake and willow border the boardwalk which allows the visitor to peer into a beaver marsh without a muddy foot or scraped knee. Look for spring cress in April, jewelweed and purple fringeless orchids in July, and the cardinal flower in September.

Nature Station Trails Map

Long Creek Paved Trail
(Hiking Only)
Accessible for persons with disabilities

Peek into the bottomland forest of Land Between the Lakes as this ¼ mile paved path leads you through sycamores, sweet gums, and oak stands. Kingfishers, green herons, and beaver inhabit these deep woods. This trail offers a great opportunity for children and other people looking for an easy walk.

Nature Station Trails Map

Honker Lake and Trail
(Hiking Only)
Originally built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s for waterfowl management. Honker Lake, a shallow 180-acre impoundment, hosts several wildlife reintroductions such as beaver, osprey, giant Canadian geese, and otters. The lake offers two great ways to view wildlife.

A 4.5 mile loop trail circles the lake, meandering through the lake shore, upland, and bottom-land forest settings. Kayaking and canoeing provide a different vantage point to wildlife in these calm waters. Watch osprey dive for fish, lotus flowers blooming, and beavers slap the water with their paddle-like tail. You can rent canoes and kayaks from the Nature Station (seasonally).

Nature Station Trails Map

North/South Trail - South End
(Hiking Only)
This 59-mile trail spans the entire length of the recreation area. Terrain ranges from rugged, hilly areas in the north to easier, less strenuous hiking in the south. You can access sections of this trail from points along a variety of Forest Service roads and facilities.

The 27-mile South End of this trail hiker-only with a shared-use equestrian section between Road 342 and the Homeplace.

North/South Trail-South End Map

DETOUR for North/South Trail- North End – A detour has been established to bypass sections of the North/South Trail that were severely damaged during the December 10, 2021 tornados. Approximately 2.5 miles of the North/South Trail will be closed indefinitely between FS Road 106 and points south of FS Road 110. Barricades are placed on the trail at these locations. The detour (approx. 2.6 miles) utilizes portions of FS Roads 106, 107, 110, and paved trails in the vicinity. Trail users should look for “detour” decals on white posts installed at intersections and follow the white diamonds between posts. On the attached map, the red line is the trail closure and the yellow line is the detour.

Portions of the North South Trail are closed due to storm damage. The trail is impassable from Road 106 to just south of Road 110 due to downed trees and damaged bridges. We will update hikers when a temporary re-route has been established.

 

Information

Find More