Sunset on Kentucky Lake.

Kentucky Lake

Kentucky Lake is a big reservoir located along the Tennessee River, covering portions of the US States of Kentucky and Tennessee. Having an area of 649 sq. km, Kentucky Lake is the country's biggest artificial lake by surface area, located east of the Mississippi River. Kentucky Lake is situated in the Western Waterlands area, where the 171,280 acres of Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area and neighboring Lake Barkley provide lots of additional thrills for travelers to this well-liked recreational destination. As the entrance to the Tennessee River waterway and a significant power generator in the TVA power system, Kentucky Lake serves as the spigot that the Tennessee Valley Authority utilizes to manage floods on the lower Ohio and Mississippi rivers.

Geography And Climate Of Kentucky Lake

A beautiful view of the Kentucky Lake
A beautiful view of the Kentucky Lake. 

The large Kentucky Lake is situated in the southwestern Kentucky counties of Marshall, Calloway, Livingston, Lyon, and Trigg; while its southernmost point borders Tennessee. The lake has 3,322 km of shoreline and reaches a maximum depth of 23 m. Kentucky Lake holds a maximum water volume of 4.944 cubic kilometers. The Kentucky Lake was created by the Kentucky Dam on the Tennessee River. The dam controls the flow of water from the Tennessee River for flood control, navigation, and hydroelectric power generation

According to the Köppen Climate Classification, the Kentucky Lake area experiences a humid subtropical climate, with hot, wet summers and mild cool winters. July is the warmest month, having an average high temperature of about 90°F. The coolest month is January, having an average low temperature of about 50°F. The lake area receives around 8 inches of snowfall yearly. 

Brief History Of Kentucky Lake

A view of the massive Kentucky Dam on the Tennessee River
A view of the massive Kentucky Dam on the Tennessee River. 

Back in the 1920s, when difficulties with recurrent floods on the Tennessee River were plaguing Tennessee Valley people, the Kentucky Dam on the Tennessee River was first planned. Beyond the towns, the majority of the rural population in this area lacked access to electricity. It took six years to complete the enormous task of constructing Kentucky Dam, starting on July 1, 1938, and ending on August 30, 1944, when the reservoir started to fill. After the construction was finished in 1944, the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers started filling the lake, resulting in the creation of Kentucky Lake. Thousands of homes in the area now receive electricity due to the construction of the dam.

Wildlife Of Kentucky Lake

Fishermen benefit from a healthy population of largemouth bass, which is the most sought-after prey during the spring, summer, and fall seasons in Kentucky Lake. Crappie is another fish that anglers enjoy catching, and the lake is full of them. Popular species of sunfish throughout the springtime include bluegill and redear. There are also always a lot of yellow basses in the lake. Rare songbirds, river otters, bobcats, and magnificently huge elk are among the other creatures that call Kentucky Lake and the area around it home.

Attractions In And Around Kentucky Lake

Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park

Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park
Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park. Editorial credit: J K Laws /

At Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park, there are a ton of adventures waiting for one to enjoy. They include an 18-hole golf course, a marina, swimming beaches open to the public, and boat rentals one may use while visiting there. One must try paddle boarding on the lake and shoreline horseback riding excursions for new experiences. Plan your trip to coincide with one of the eagle-viewing weekends offered throughout the year if you enjoy birdwatching.

Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area

Jack-o-lantern on a wood pile in a historical farm reenactment at the Land between the lakes state recreational area near Paducah, Kentucky
Jack-o-lantern on a wood pile in a historical farm reenactment at the Land Between The Lakes state recreational area near Paducah, Kentucky. 

This is a 171,280-acre recreational area tucked away between Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake. One can go biking, hiking, fishing, hunting, canoeing, kayaking, and engage in many other outdoor activities here. This region has a lot of attractions, including a working farm and a living history museum, The Homeplace. One can take a tour of the farm, talk to the employees, and discover what it required to thrive on a farm in the middle of the nineteenth century. 

Wrangles Campground

Those who like horses have a complete campground set aside for them. The Wranglers Campground at Land Between the Lakes is reserved for people who want to bring their horses and ride the many miles of trails that the area has to offer. Wranglers Campground offers stables with horses for rent for individuals who wish to feel the thrill of horseback riding but don't own any.

Kenlake State Resort Park

Another fantastic place to visit with the whole family is Kenlake State Resort. One can enjoy oneself on the sea or go hiking on one of the local trails. One might even fall in love with a new sport! People of all skill levels can take an archery course in Kenlake. More than 150 bird species reside at Kentucky Lake. For bird watching, Kenlake's shoreline and trails are ideal. Additionally, several events are held at the lakeside amphitheater throughout the year.


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