Lake Barkley

Quick Facts

Lake Barkley


(270) 362-4236

Map Directions

Things To Do


Beautiful Lake Barkley borders TVA's Land Between the Lakes Rec. Completed in 1966 by the Army Corps of Engineers, Barkley Dam is 157 feet high and 10,180 feet wide. Commercial barges can be seen entering and departing Lake Barkley through the huge 1,200 foot locks. Area in the rolling hills of southwest Kentucky and north central Tennessee. The lake provides a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities for millions of visitors each year. The lake covers 57,900 acres at summer pool, elevation 359 mean sea level, and is surrounded by 1,004 miles of shoreline. Natural conditions at Lake Barkley make it possible for the public to participate in activities such as hiking, fishing, hunting, camping, picnicking, and boating. In addition, there is a Civil War Monument, historic relics, commercial marinas, public parks and wildlife refuges. The many species of wildlife here, including golden and bald eagles, make bird watching and nature photography exciting pastimes! Fishing is a favorite among Lake Barkley guest. May and June are typically the best fishing months on the lake. With the large population of crappie, blue gill, catfish, and white bass fishing is at Lake Barkley is an anglers dream!

Another favorite is hunting. High on the list of Lake Barkley area hunters is white-tailed deer. Kentucky is regularly in the top five states in producing record book deer, and the area yields its share of whoppers.

Map of Lake Barkley

Latitude, Longitude: 37.034351, -88.222961



  • Boating

    Lake Barkley's aesthetic shoreline makes it an enjoyable lake for boating and skiing. With six commercial marinas positioned at various locations on the lake, supplies and easy access are made readily available for recreational boaters. While not considered a deep-water lake, Lake Barkley maintains a commercial and secondary navigation buoy system to aid in the safety of commercial and recreation boating. Users unfamiliar with the lake should be aware of un-marked hazards and barge traffic while boating and skiing. Lake Barkley resides in both the state of Kentucky and Tennessee. Kentucky Boating Regulations apply when boating in that state as Tennessee Boating Regulations apply when boating in Tennessee.

  • Camping

    Lake Barkley host 4 campgrounds where an abundance of wildlife can be observed and beautiful scenic views. All locations offer water and electrical hookups. Canal, Eureka, and Hurricane Creek Campgrounds are located on the shores of beautiful Lake Barkely and offer water activities. Bumpus Mills is located in the wooded, rolling hills of western Tennessee and offers 19 sites. Additional amenities include hot showers, swim beach, and a boat launch. An abundance of wildlife can be seen here including the wild turkey. Canal Campground has 110 campsites and visitors can enjoy boating, fishing, and swimming as well as many other outdoor activities. Canal Campground offers 50-amp electricity, water, sewer sites, playground, accessible restrooms/shower house, telephone, swim beach and a launching ramp. Eureka Campground visitors enjoy boating, fishing, and swimming as well as numerous other outdoor activities. It is nestled in the wooded, rolling hills of western Kentucky. The campground offers 23 camping sites with water and electric hookups. Additional amenities include hot showers; dump station, bike trail, playground, boat launch, swim beach, and picnic shelter, public telephone, and a 2.5-mile hiking trail. Hurricane Creek Campground visitors enjoy boating, fishing, and swimming as well as several other outdoor activities. The campground offers 51camp sites with water and electric hookups. Additional amenities include hot showers; dump station, swim beach, laundry facilities, playground, public telephone and launching ramp. Each of these locations provide the ultimate setting to watch nature at its best with your family and friends.

  • Climbing

    Rock climbing available in a near by area.

  • Fishing

    With over 57 thousand surface acres of water available for public use, Lake Barkley supports diverse and abundant fish populations. Sportsman licenses for fishing are required in both Kentucky and Tennessee and should be purchased for the State in which you will be enjoying these outdoor activities. Special permits may be obtained in both States for trout fishing. Please check State laws for complete information. Fishing licenses may be purchased over the counter at Bait Stores, Gas Stations, Marinas and Department Stores, which sell sporting goods.

  • Hiking

    There are 4 main trails:Canal Overlook Trail (1mile), Lake Barkley State Park Trail (3miles), Anderson Woodland Trail (.5 miles), and Chestnut Oaks Trail (2.5 miles).

  • Historic Sites

    "The Castle On The Cumberland" it is a favorite among photographers and visitors to Old Eddyville. Though the natives call this building a castle its anything but. Its actually the Kentucky State Penitentiary is located on KY 730 in what is known as Old Eddyville. Built over 100 years ago, this mammoth stone structure towers majestically over Lake Barkley.

  • Hunting

    Hunting on property managed by the Corps of Engineers for the operation of Lake Barkley has become a tradition and is a favorite pastime for many people. The abundance of wildlife at Lake Barkley allows for excellent game.

  • Picnicking

    Lake Barkley has a group picnic shelter, accessible picnic tables and grills, and various other picnic areas. There are seven picnic sites: Cadis, Dover, Dyers Creek, Eddyville, Linton, Old Kuttawa, and Rockcastle. Most of the sites are equipped with a playground and swimming area.

  • Water Sports

    Swimming on Lake Barkley is one of the more popular water-based activities. Swimming is prohibited at launching ramps, mooring points, and posted areas. It is allowed elsewhere, but for safety's sake please swim only in designated areas. These areas are much safer as they are off-limits to boaters. They are surrounded by "boats keep out" buoys and floating orange pipeline. Kuttawa Recreation Area has a sand beach and playground and there is a nominal Day Use Fee.


During the winter the lake elevation mark is 354 msl. The water temperature average is 45 to 65 during winter months and 70 to 80 during the summer months.



From Louisville, S on I-65 to Western Kentucky Parkway. Go west on Parkway to exit 4, 13 mi W on US 62. From Nashville, W on I-24 to exit 40, 8 mi W on US 62.

Phone Numbers


(270) 362-4236