More than 200 miles of trails and abandoned roads meander through our backwoods, fields and alongside peaceful lakeshores. Catch a glimpse of native wildlife. Walk in the footsteps of General Grant. Sleep under the stars...
Ready to explore? It is highly recommended that you use tick repellent, BEFORE hiking or other outdoor activities. Tick repellent is available for purchase at all LBL Facilities or at local stores. More tick information.
NORTH SOUTH TRAIL. Take the grand tour! This trail spans the entire length of LBL and ranges from rugged, hilly terrain in the north to more smooth hiking in the south. Portions are accessible from The Trace for those wishing to hike a section of the trail. Length: 58 miles. Rating: Moderate to Strenuous. 200-foot elevation change.
FORT HENRY NATIONAL RECREATION TRAIL. Located in the south end of LBL, Fort Henry is a system of 10 connecting trails totaling 26 miles. The trail follows closely the route of General Grant's troop movements from Fort Henry to Fort Donelson during the Civil War. Length: 29 miles. Rating: Moderate. 100-foot elevation change.
CANAL LOOP TRAIL. In the north end, this series of connecting trails provides walks ranging from 1.5 miles to 14 miles. One of our most popular trails, because it offers spectacular lake views and the opportunity for short walks. Length: 14 miles. Rating: Easy to Moderate. 80-foot elevation change.
View our Trail Updates.
HONKER TRAIL. Located near The Nature Station in the heart of our Environmental Education Area, this trail winds around Honker Lake through a variety of habitats: dense forest, meadows, and along the lakeshore. Be sure to watch for our resident flock of Giant Canada Geese which nest in the area and give the trail its name! Length: 4.5 miles. Rating: Moderate
HEMATITE LAKE TRAIL. Located near the Nature Station, this easy walk around Hematite Lake offers a chance to see migratory waterfowl and other wildlife. Bring a picnic to enjoy at one of our picnic tables at the trail head. Length: 2.2 miles. Rating: Easy to Moderate
WOODLAND WALK. An easy, wooded trail winding through the forests and along the shoreline of Honker Lake. Enjoy a picnic at the trail head's picnic shelter! Length: 1.0 mile. Rating: Easy
CENTER FURNACE TRAIL. Embarking from the ruins of the Center Iron Furnace near the Nature Station, this easy walk is marked with interpretive signs, offering a glimpse of the bustling industry that thrived in the region 150 years ago. Length: 0.3 miles. Rating: Easy
LONG CREEK NATIONAL RECREATION TRAIL. Located near the Nature Station, this paved trail is accessible to visitors with physical disabilities. Length: 0.2 mile paved. Rating: Easy
NEW - CENTRAL HARDWOODS SCENIC TRAIL NOW OPEN ~ The newly constructed trail runs parallel with US68/KY80, east and west between Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake. Central Hardwoods Scenic Trail map.This family-friendly trail was designed with smooth surfaces, gentle grades, and trailside rest areas. The paved 2.5 miles of the eastern portion of the trail provides shoreline views of Lake Barkley as well as wildlife viewing opportunities in adjacent open areas. The 8.5 miles of the central and western portions were developed using a compacted stone surface. Here visitors can explore rolling hills and ridge tops of a central hardwood forest ecosystem. The Central Hardwoods Scenic Trail is the result of a mitigation project for the four-lane highway.
BACKPACKERS - A backpacker is a person who carries all their camping equipment and personal belongings in a backpack and wears it on their back; walks via a hiking trail to camp one or more nights, generally moving along the trail to a different location by foot each day. This does not include parking a vehicle and carrying supplies by hand to a campsite nearby.
- If you are backpacking along the Canal Loop, North/South, or Fort Henry Trails, please obtain a free Backpacking Permit. Permits are located at the North Welcome parking lot, parking area across from South Welcome, and Jenny Ridge Picnic Area. Instructions are located with the permits.
- If you plan to camp in a designated Backcountry Camping Area such as Sugar Bay, Nickell Branch, or Twin Lakes while backpacking along a trail, you will need to purchase a Backcountry Camping Permit for each person 18 and over.