Western Waterlands

Kentucky's Western Waterlands region is at the western edge of the state, and is home to popular outdoor recreation areas around Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley and Land Between the Lakes. The region is bounded on the north by the Ohio River and on the west by the Mississippi River. Kentucky's two largest lakes, Kentucky Lake, 160,000 acres and Lake Barkley, 58,000 acres, provide 600 square miles of waterways and parks with 2,390 miles of shoreline. There are fishing, boating and camping opportunities to satisfy the most avid outdoorsman. There are seven state parks in this region as well as Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area.


Whether you like to swim with the fish or catch them, Kentucky’s Western Lakes & Rivers Region offers ideal opportunities for outdoor recreation. The Ohio, Cumberland, Tennessee and Mississippi Rivers, combined with Lake Barkley & Kentucky Lake, create a virtual playground of recreation in the 15 counties of Western Kentucky. Fishing, hunting, boating, hiking and wildlife viewing are just a few of our many outdoor opportunities. Naturally, there are unlimited opportunities for fun on the water, but on land you can enjoy the beautiful parks and privately owned resorts, quaint bed and breakfasts and hotels/motels around the region. Enjoy trips to history museums and art galleries, golf, tennis, horseback riding and more. Make plans to attend some of the one-of-a-kind festivals and other special events that add to the unique heritage and culture throughout the region. Get your bags packed. Then sitback, relax, prop up your feet and stay for a while. Your friends in Kentucky’s Western Lakes & Rivers Region welcome you with Southern hospitality.

The name "Western Waterlands" and similar terms are used only for tourism promotion—locals do not use the term to describe this area, and also do not consider the area to be a single region. Instead, locals universally divide the region into two:



Other destinations

  • Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park is one of three state resort parks near Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, a 170,000-acre wooded peninsula bound by Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley.
  • Lake Barkley State Resort Park, , Lake Barkley State Resort Park rests on the shores of one of the world’s largest man-made lakes and provides for an array of outdoor activity.
  • Kenlake State Resort Park, , Located on the mid-west shore of Kentucky Lake, with the longest shoreline of any man-made lake in the eastern United States, Kenlake is the perfect spot to enjoy the great outdoors.
  • Mineral Mound State Park, , This peaceful setting on the shores of Lake Barkley is historically linked to the author F. Scott Fitzgerald.
  • Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site, , The Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site is an archaeological site of a Native American village of the Mississippian culture.
  • Columbus-Belmont State Park, , Columbus-Belmont State Park Columbus, often called the "Gibraltar of the West" by the Confederates, was considered by them the key to their defense of the upper Mississippi River valley.
  • Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park, , Named for the tiny Pennyroyal plant found in the woodlands surrounding this resort, Pennyrile Forest is the perfect back-to-nature hideaway.


Tourist information

There are multiple websites online today that provide information about the Wester Waterlands region. Whether you want to learn about Kentucky Lake & Lake Barkley fishing, golf courses, area restaurants, boating information, hunting information, community information, or more, the following websites can help you do research about where to go and what to do in the Western Waterlands region:

Fishing licenses in Kentucky

Resident Licenses-

Other Non-Resident Licenses-

No Closed Angling Season in Kentucky

Get in

By car

The Western Waterlands region is accessible by car using Interstate 24, US Hwys 62, 68 & 641, the Western KY Parkway, the Purchase Parkway and KY 80.

By bus

There is a Greyhound Bus Terminal in Paducah.

By train

There is an Amtrak train terminal in Fulton, KY, 50 southwest of Benton at the end of the Purchase Pkwy.

By air




Stay Safe

Useful phone numbers in case of emergency.


By phone

Most telephone numbers in this region consist of +1 270 plus a seven-digit number, but the region is now served by an overlay complex of two area codes, with +1 364 being the second. A local or in-state telephone call requires all 10 digits of the local number be dialed (omitting just the leading +1 from a local landline call).

Signage on many established businesses may still display the original seven-digit numbers; dial 270 before these if no area code is indicated.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, March 24, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.