When the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers were impounded to create Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley, an inland peninsula was formed. In 1963, President John F. Kennedy designated the peninsula Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area in an effort to demonstrate how an area with limited timber, agricultural, and industrial resources could be converted into a recreation asset that would stimulate economic growth in the region. Today, LBL remains the country's only such demonstration site and is the centerpiece of the region's tourism industry. Land Between The Lakes offers all the outdoor recreation "basics," with some unique opportunities for environmental education and historic interpretation. Nestled in western Kentucky and Tennessee, LBL hosts visitors from all over the nation and from more than 30 foreign countries. With more than 170,000 acres and 300 miles of undeveloped shoreline, you'll discover a wide range of opportunities in LBL to create memories that will last a lifetime. LBL is maintained by the Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, in partnership with "Friends of LBL" for the public's enjoyment and safety.
You should know that as of September 2016, the "boardwalk" sections of this trail are closed. Also, any parts of the trail that become damaged are no longer fixed - the trail is just rerouted up a steep hill in several places. As such, a trail that used to be a flat walk is now a little harder for small children with a lot of tree roots and large rocks.
Also, the wood railing on the overlook literally fell apart when my 6 year old leaned against it for a picture. Its still a decent hike, if you plan to hike it-get there soon, before the complete lack of maintenance causes closure of the entire trail due to safety concerns.
Janet P. on Honker Lake Trail
Great trail, lots of fun!
Janet P. on Hematite Trail
The trail is basically ok but the boardwalk is in bad need of repair! A lot of it is under water and has shifted.
Really nice and fun trail around a small lake. Great for kids, nothing dangerous and there was a lot of cool things to see like a big beaver dam. We could hear the beaver (s) inside and they growled at us! The photos that someone has uploaded of a waterfall and cave are wrong. They are not here, I believe they must have put them on this trail by mistake.
The Honker trail is about 5ish miles long. You can park in the Woodlands Nature Station to walk either. We didn't explore the nature center, except for using the bathroom there. It's like 5 bucks to go into the station, and they've got some different animals for you to look at.
Anyway, back the Honker trail. We started the trail on the north side of the nature station. If you walk this way, you will wonder where the lake is. It will take a while before you come upon the Honker lake and Barkley lake. You will get to walk on the dam that separates the two lakes. The trail isn't too hard. There are some hills but the trail is pretty level. You could bike this I guess, however there are some steps to go up and down. Once you get past the long dam, you'll be in a parking lot for a fishing area, if you walk up the road a little, you'll find the trail that continues.
You might want to be mindful of the rainfall. We walked the trail after it rained a couple days before. The bridge that is near the south start was almost flooded, the creek that goes underneath it was spilling onto the trail in front of the bridge. The views on the trail are great though. It's really a great place to view nature, however we didn't see much wildlife except a few squirrels.