- Find a Trail
- My TrailLink
- Explore Trails
- About Us
- Get Involved
The Lake Barkley Bridge connecting Canton to the Land between the Lakes National Recreation Area was opened in Fall 2019. The bridge features four traffic lanes and a 10-foot wide, protected bike-ped path alongside the eastbound lanes of US-68/ SR-80. The trail gives non-motorized users a safe way to get across the bridge. Trail users can do what the drivers can't, however, which is slow down and really enjoy the view of Lake Barkley from the bridge's vantage point.
The new bridge echoes the Eggners Ferry Bridge, west of this, with its basket arches, shared use path and LED lighting at night. Cyclists and pedestrians can connect to the two bridges via the gravel trails in the Land Between the Lakes (LBL) Rec Area.
The multiuse pathway, also known as the Central Hardwoods Trail, includes 2.5 miles of paved trail from Lake Barkley to the Golden Pond trailhead. The remaining 8.5 miles to Kentucky Lake have a compacted stone surface. With smooth surfaces, gentle grades, and trailside rest areas, the multiuse pathway is family-friendly and accessible.
Spanning the entire width of Land Between The Lakes and crossing the Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake bridges, the trail offers scenic views of the lakes, the central hardwood forest, fields of wildflowers, woodlands, grassy plains, rolling hills, and deep valleys. Passing through a diverse landscape with an array of ecosystems, the trail provides the opportunity to observe a variety of wildlife.
Trail amenities include parking, accessible restrooms, picnic areas, pavilions, grills, water stations, benches, and scenic overlooks. Trail access points, parking, restrooms, and water locations are all marked on the TrailLink map. The trail is open from dawn to dusk. Pets are welcome, but must remain on their leashes.
For trail status updates and alerts, check the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area website here. For general or immediate alerts, check their dedicated alert webpage.
Parking for the trail can be found at a number of locations along the trail, including at the east end of the Lake Barkley bridge, in Canton. Another parking lot is located at the intersection of Canton Lane and the Arrowhead Trail (451 Canton Lane, Canton). For all parking options and detailed directions, see the TrailLink map.
The seven trailheads from west to east are:
Fenton Trailhead is located at Fenton Campground and was one of the first recreation areas established in LBL.
English Hill Trailhead is located on FS RD US68/KY80-B and gets its name from the family that once lived on the hill, Mary and M. E. English, after which it became locally known as English Hill.
Golden Pond Trailhead is located at Golden Pond Visitor Center, where visitors can learn more about LBL here. The visitor center has exhibits, an observatory, and a planetarium. More information can be found on the center's website.
Meredith Trailhead is located on FS RD US68/KY80-C and is named for the nearby Meredith Cemetery, which in turn is named for the Meredith family—known for using a jenny (female donkey) instead of horses for plowing, riding, and hitching to wagons or buggies.
Sunset Trailhead is located on FS RD 160 & US68/KY80 and is named after the former Sunset Inn, which was built by two local brothers, Conley and Lew Wallace, after they returned home from WWII in 1947. Both served in the Pacific during WWII. Conley named it the Sunset Inn for the “setting sun” shoulder patch insignia on his 41st Infantry Division uniform.
Devil’s Elbow Trailhead is located on FS RD 159 & US68/KY80 and named after the landing on the Cumberland River, which served the community of Golden Pond in the days of steamboats and was known as Devil’s Elbow due to the large bend in the Cumberland River here.
Cumberland Trailhead is located on FS RD 134 & US68/KY80 and shares its name with the surrounding community, which itself was named both for the river and the area now covered by Lake Barkley, but was previously located on the western shore of the river, just north of the Lake Barkley bridge.
Some cool tunnels and bridge cool Golden pond route nice too
On the Fenton side of the Island, the west side, the paved part of the trail extends west from the Fenton TH over the bridge and ends at approximately 1.3 miles. From the Fenton Trail Head to the Sunset Trail Head is not paved. From Fenton to Sunset is not paved, 8.2 miles. From Sunset Trail Head headed east over the east bridge is approximately 3.3 miles. From that point, east is approximately 6 paved miles.
We hiked from the Fenton side to the Golden Pond Visitors Center, which is 4.2 miles, round trip 8.4 miles. We rode our bikes on the east and west paved sides but did not ride on the paved area on the east side of the east bridge that is on the north side of the highway.
We loved the hiking and biking on this trail. You can bike the unpaved trail, but you need to be skilled enough to do that. We are in our 70s and tried to bike the first mile on the west side headed east but turned back. We give this trail both paved and gravel a 5. It is a very good trail to hike. We cannot comment on the North-South Trail.
We estimate the total length of this trail with the approximate 6 miles on the east side to of the east bridge ar around 16 miles plus.
After a barge knocked this bridge down at Lake Barkley and Land Between the Lakes in Kentucky they rebuilt it with a gorgeous new bridge with a dedicated bike path. The scenery is gorgeous, as is the lake. There is currently construction underway to expand it quite a bit. Worth the trip
this trail is one of my new favorites. i started on the east end and traveled west. the off-road trail signage is a little lacking, but you never really get too far going the wrong way before you figure out you've turned wrong. the off-road part between the bridges is very fun. lots of gravel and dirt trail. i saw no washed out parts. they have grating installed to prevent washout in at least one spot. i didn't look at the map closely enough before going. the majority of this trail is off road trail! and it is very fun! nothing too steep or sharp on the hills or curves. just fun riding.
This trail starts west of the Kentucky làke bridge and ends east of the lake Barkley bridge. The middle is crushed lime stone. 3.5 Miles on the east end are paved as are about 2 miles on the west end. The route follows the Fenton area roads from the bridge pathway to the trail head. The paved section is open and stone section is shaded. It goes by the golden pond visitor center which has water and rest rooms.
TrailLink is a free service provided by Rails-to-Trails conservancy
(a non-profit) and we need your support!