Top 10 Lake Barkley Family Activities

Situated on one side of the Land Between the Lakes Recreation Area, Lake Barkley in Kentucky offers a multitude of activities for any family. The nearly 58,000 acres of water allows for swimming, boating, and a plethora of water sports, while the 1,000 miles of shoreline give children and adults alike a place to relax and spend a peaceful afternoon. Here are some of our favorite activities in which to participate at the lake when you’re not relaxing at your Lake Barkley vacation rental. Rest in nearby vacation rentals to soothe your children after a tiring day.

1. Boating

boating on the lake

Source: Flickr / Land Between the Lakes KY/TN

The lake boasts three marinas: Buzzard Rock Resort and Marina, Eddy Creek Marina Resort, and Kuttawa Harbor. You can launch your boat at any of these locations or even rent a watercraft for a full day or just a few hours. Spend some time reconnecting with your family on the water.

2. Swimming

water park

Source: Flickr / Land Between the Lakes KY/TN

Not only does the lake offer plenty of space for wading and swimming, the long stretches of shoreline provides a place to laze in the sun while watching the little ones frolic in the water. Enjoy the Venture River Water Park with the family, located just a few minutes from the lake, with 22 acres of slides, pools, and rides

3. Hiking

child playing

Source: Flickr / Land Between the Lakes KY/TN

After some water play, venture to the Land Between the Lakes Recreation Area. Here you can explore nature through hiking. A variety of trails thread the woods, over bridges, and around the bison and elk prairie. For older kids and adventurous families, opt for the challenging 11-mile Canal Loop Trail. The Hematite Trail is more suitable for smaller children. This 2-mile loop allows kids to view wildlife, woodlands, and wildflowers.

4. Horseback Riding

horseback riders

Source: Flickr / Mike Goad

Explore nature and teach your kids the joy of horses by horseback riding. Not only does this activity give your children the opportunity to interact with animals, but it also offers you a unique way to explore the area. Riding stables are available every day during the week during the spring and summer months.

5. Fishing

fishing boat

Source: Flickr / Roy Luck

Capture a piece of serenity and spend some quiet time with your loved ones by spending a quiet morning fishing. The lake contains a variety of fish from bass and bluegill to crappie and catfish. You can bring your fishing supplies with you or rent it for the day. Just make sure to have a fishing license ready and waiting.

6. Camping and Lounging

camping ground

Really get in touch with your inner outdoors person by camping at the lake. There are plenty of campgrounds in the Land Between the Lakes area and around the lake with varying levels of luxury. Opt for a resort campground complete with wireless internet, grills, and rec rooms or go a little more rustic. If you want a home away from home with all the bells and whistles stay at one of the many resorts or vacation rentals available and while away your time soaking in the sun on a porch.

7. Biking

lake for boating

Source: Flickr / Bureau of Land Management

The Land Between the Lakes Recreation Area has biking as well as hiking trails. The 26-mile Fort Henry Trails takes you along old Civil War routes, a perfect place to instill some history into your children, while the 59-mile North/South Trail enables you to experience the whole of the Land Between Lakes.

8. Birding and Wildlife Watching

wildlife deer

Source: Flickr / Land Between the Lakes KY/TN

Increase your children’s appreciation of the outdoors by birding and wildlife watching. Not only are their more than 200 bird species in which to view, but there are also bald eagles to glimpse. Use this time to point out the local beavers hard at work or visit the elk and bison prairie to observe the big animals grazing.

9. Playing Sports

beach volleyball

Get your family into the spirit of togetherness and play some sports. The public sand beaches are a perfect place to play a rousing game of beach volleyball. For a little more variety, opt for some tennis or racquetball at the courts or enjoy a game of golf while the little ones try the miniature golf version.

10. Exploring

community event

Source: Flickr / Land Between the Lakes K

Experience small town life, and spend some time exploring the little communities that have grown up around the lake. Go to one of the many annual festivals or visit an art gallery to add a little culture to your vacation. Enjoy and bond with the family over some Southern comfort food at one of the many eateries and restaurants available.