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Land Between the Lakes Scenic Drives

Scenic Byways or Routes
Wildlife viewing is plentiful during a drive through Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area. – Land Between the Lakes Staff

Here are few of the popular driving spots around Land Between The Lakes. Refer to the Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) for Forest Service (FS) road numbers. Some also appear on the Recreation Map. Enjoy your time and stay safe!

For more wildlife watching opportunities, hikes, and scenic drives, read about our Nature Watch areas.

Woodlands Trace
Travel this 43 mile National Scenic Byway and stop along the way for nature viewing and conservation education fun. This partial list for scenic views starts from Grand Rivers, Kentucky and travels south to Dover, Tennessee.

Kentucky Lake Drive | Woodlands Trace
This 3-mile drive on the northern end of Land Between the Lakes provides several overlooks on Kentucky Lake, picnic areas, plus hiking and biking trails. It also serves as a popular birding spot.

FS Rd #127 | Off of Old Ferry Road, FS Rd #117
Beautiful drive with a great mixture of forests and open lands which heads to our northern most point. With a scope or binoculars, you can view a 4-acre island filled with 7 species of heron and egrets plus a 2-acre island filled with nesting cormorants. You can see some great sunsets and sunrises at this point. CAUTION: Please do not travel to the islands. You will harm nesting birds.

St. Stephen’s Church | FS Rd #415
Challenging one-lane drive to a historically restored church. Take it slow and steady.

Pisgah Point | FS Rd #111
Offers views of winter waterfowl and eagles.

Smith Bay | FS Rd #114 and #116
Better than Pisgah for winter waterfowl and eagle viewing as the enclosed bay keeps wildlife closer. Hills may be icy in winter. Side bays offer better waterfowl viewing.

Duncan Lake | FS Rd #132
Great spot to see multitudes of eagles during the hours of dawn to 9am and 3pm to dusk in winter.
IMPORTANT: Vulnerable to disturbance, wildlife viewers must stay on the gravel road. People getting too close to eagles will disturb them which may cause eagles to abandon the site.

Energy Lake | FS Rd #134
Great for winter waterfowl viewing, canoeing, and kayaking on this inland lake. The adjacent refuge closes November 1 through March 15. View in; don’t go in.

Ferguson Springs | FS Rd #147 and #324
You’ll find our largest, most unique beaver marsh here which also provides up-close viewing of wetland birds, beavers, owls, and wildflowers in spring from April to June. Listen to frog choruses here as well. This road travels next to a refuge. View in; don’t go in Nov. 1 through March 15.

Crooked Creek -Jenny Ridge Road | FS Rd #153
Great place for a summertime creek walk and for families to explore. This scenic drive offers fall colors, wildflowers, and a variety of birds.

Elk & Bison Prairie | Woodlands Trace
Travel the 3-mile loop multiple times in this 700-acre restored native habitat. Babies come in the spring. From May to June you will find native and migratory birds feasting on the abundant native plants and wildflower. Watch migratory butterflies in June and September.

To see bison and elk, cool weather is best between September through February with September the ultimate. October offers incredible elk bugling. In hotter weather, early morning and late afternoon/early evening offer best viewing times. Open dawn to dusk. $5/vehicle

South Bison Range | Woodlands Trace
Great place to watch bison behavior and open land birds like bluebirds, buntings, and hawks. Located across from the Homeplace on the Trace.

South Oak Grassland | FS Rd #201
Great for birding near Prior Bay. Beautiful fall colors line the roadways. Watch the progress as we continue to restore this grassland area.

Crutchers’ Hollow | FS Rd #213
Make this your “spectacular” spot for wildflower viewing March through May.

Boswell Landing | FS Rd #233
Great view of Kentucky Lake with beautiful sunsets. Boswell Landing also provides the best spot on our southern end for eagle viewing.

Panther Bay area | FS Rd #230 #396
Offers a great place for a summertime creek walk. Perfect for families to explore.

Driving Directions

Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area is 170,000 acres in Western Tennessee and West Kentucky.

Highlights and Key Points Along the Route

See above.

Nearby Places