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Author Topic:   Land Between the Lakes advice needed
Royboy posted 03-03-2006 02:02 PM ET (US)   Profile for Royboy   Send Email to Royboy  
Anybody have experience boating in Kentucky/Barckley Lakes? Any exceptionally good or bad lodging experience would be helpful too. Looks like a lot of nice Whalering opportunity. We're just starting to put together a plan for late Summer.



Buckda posted 03-03-2006 03:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda

Start there.

Royboy posted 03-04-2006 12:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
Well, I might have known! My first reaction was to call Dave a smarty-pants. Actually, as soon as I saw the link, I remembered reading the article a couple of years ago. Certainly fits the bill. I have to compliment our host on a fine bit of prose; I found it both useful and ornamental.


Buckda posted 03-06-2006 07:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Roy -

You can call it as you see it. I'm a smart-alec sometimes. I just remember really enjoying that sail-log some time ago. I think I read it several times. So when you mentioned "Kentucky Lake" the light went on in my head that JimH already had some great information archived here in that trip narrative.



cyclops posted 03-07-2006 09:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for cyclops  Send Email to cyclops     

In addition to Jim's fine article here's a link to Lake Barkley State Resort Park. Very nice place with a marina that I have stayed at numerous times.

Royboy posted 03-07-2006 11:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
Thanks cyclops, I found a lot of info on the web about a number of State and private resorts, but it's much more meaningful to get a first-hand recomendation like yours. One thing I got from Jimh's article that concerns me is the condition of the water there. I got the impression it might be a murky body of water due to the barge traffic.

We're used to the crystal clear waters of the Great Lakes, so it would be dissapointing to find these lakes muddy. What's your take on it?


cyclops posted 03-07-2006 06:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for cyclops  Send Email to cyclops     

I grew up in western New York doing my boating on Lake Ontario and the Finger Lakes. I understand your concerns of water quality. That said Lake Barkley is a nice lake in the summer and fall especially. The lakes in Kentucky are“impoundments” and are subject to tremendous runoff when there is heavy rain. After all there first job is flood control.
Lake Barkley State Resort Park is about 25 miles south of the dam and cut(close to the Tennessee border) on the east side of the lake. It is on a nice inlet and water quality has been good when I have been there. In fact I’m going to be there with my Eastport in the middle of September. Anymore questions feel free to email me.


jimh posted 03-07-2006 11:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Roy--It is hard to accept this, but we are sitting on the finest, cleanest water on the planet up here in the Great Lakes. You just have to get accustomed to the notion that when you visit one of these other places you are going to be looking at some brown water.
Landlocked posted 03-14-2006 03:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for Landlocked  Send Email to Landlocked     
You can still find plenty of clear water in Tennessee but not on the lower portion of major rivers. The Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers (Kentucky Lake) are fairly turbid but primarily due to upstream agricultural, forestry, and development practices. Barge traffic plays a role given the increased bank erosion but really just a drop in the bucket compared to all the other sources. As for the Mississsippi - well they don't call it the "Big Muddy" for nothing.

That being said, the water is not necessarily "dirty" its just turbid. We swim, ski, fish, dive in it all the time. Don't concentrate so much on the color of the water but on the amazing country side and diverse wildlife you'll see on your trip. I think once you experience it, you'll be glad you made the trip.

As for lodging on Kentucky lake, check out Nathan Bedford Forest State Park. New cabins on the water and only a short distance from a marina. A friend stayed there last weekend and said it was really nice. We are in the process of booking a long weekend now.

If you have to have clear water, check out Dale Hollow Lake. Crystal clear water with mountains rising right out of the shoreline.

Feel free to email with questions and if I can help I will

Chris C.

Landlocked posted 03-14-2006 03:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for Landlocked  Send Email to Landlocked     
Oh yea,

Its been in the 70's for the past three days here. Little cooler today, high is only 57. What's the weather up there?


Royboy posted 03-14-2006 05:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
35 and windy, spitting a little snow. Ice is gone of the local lakes, but lots of sheep.


Landlocked posted 03-14-2006 07:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for Landlocked  Send Email to Landlocked     

Just pointing out everything ain't better up there - even if the water is crystal clear..


Kumiega posted 04-08-2006 03:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for Kumiega  Send Email to Kumiega     
I boat on both Michigan and Kentucky Lake all summer long. Michigan is clearer however Kentucky Lake is very clean just not clear.

I liked Kentucky Lake so much that I bought a condo at Big Bear Resort. Kentucky lake has a bunch of small deserted bays to water ski and hang out in with the kids. The main lake can be rough but the bays are always calm. I like mid section of the Lake since it is close to a couple of large bays and is centrally located so you can drive to both Kenlake and Kentucky lake resorts.

I would stay on Kentucky lake instead of Barkley since it is deeper and the fishing should be better than Barkley in August. The end of summer is low season for fishing but I still see people at the resort cleaning fish at the Dock early in the morning. The resorts that I like in order is Big Bear, the Moors(Maybe just hit by Toronado), and KenLake for the lower part of the Lake. I would stay at Green Turtle bay or Kentucky Lake State Park for the upper portion of the lake. For Barkley I think the other suggestions are very good. If I was camping then I would stay at the LBL campgrounds.

I would bring down spare engine parts for the trip since the boat dealers don’t keep many parts on the shelf. If I was boating on Barkley then bring down a spare prop and Skeg since people regularly hit old logs. If you do need some quick repairs then I would use Shawn Livingston 270-362-2172 at Kentucky Lake Marina. His facility is at the boat ramp at Kentucky Lake Marina. He just works on the ramp/dock all day fixing small problems with engines and wiring. He has fixed small engine/electrical problems that I could not fix. During the summer he works late and works on Sundays a real rarity for this area of the country. The other shops down there are really slow and do not make emergency repairs.

There are only a couple of nice restaurants around the Lake. There are no bars on the Lake. You can buy beer in Paducah and drink it on the Lake. If you want a nice dinner with a drink then you will need to drive into Paducah. Also, the quilt museum in Paducah is worth the trip so go early for dinner and walk around Paducah prior to dinner.

Royboy posted 04-08-2006 07:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
Neither of us drink, so it sounds quite nice. Thanks so much for all of the info. We've decided to stay around the Great Lakes for the Summer months, and then head down South in the Fall. Thanks again for everybody who gave uptheir favorite spots, and for all the good info on good places to stay.


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