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Canal Loop Trail is a 10 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Kuttawa, Kentucky that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 10.0 mi Elevation gain 849 ft Route type Loop

Dogs on leash

Camping

Fishing

Hiking

Mountain biking

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Running

Forest

Lake

Views

Wildlife

Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (176)
Photos (168)
Recordings (174)
Completed (260)
Seth Kingery
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Hiking
View Seth's Recording
Jacob Lord
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 4, 2020
Hiking

Trail is very very nice and heavily shaded. It’s a pretty long and somewhat difficult as far as hiking goes but not too bad. Would definitely seem to be better as a mountain biking trail

Tina Herrin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 10, 2020
Hiking

Well maintained trail, nice hiking and would be fun for mountain biking

Johnny Bell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 7, 2020
Hiking

Great trail!! Bring bug spray because the mosquitos will eat you alive. Saw tons of mushrooms and even a water snake. The trees provide a nice shaded canopy so it isn’t to hot while hiking. The foliage blocks some of the views of the lake but there are spots where you views are so amazing. I enjoyed this trail very much. I differently suggest people hike this trail :)

Meagan Medley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 18, 2020
Hiking

Well maintained and 95% shaded trail (6/12/20 weekend). Signage confusing when crossing roads. Started at the North Welcome Center. They have a vault toilet in the parking lot that was clean and had toilet paper. They also have real bathrooms in the North Welcome Center. It sells cool drinks, tees, and other trinkets. They also have free trail maps in case you forgot yours. You can call or ask them for the after hours emergency number for the park. There are also signs about fire risk levels and that indicates if you can have a camp fire. The trailhead going clockwise starts behind the North Welcome center on a paved part that leads to the forest. There is a sign at the curb with info for backpackers and you can fill out your free backpacking permit there. They were out when we arrived. According to Garmin the beach campsite is 1.8 miles in. According to AppleWatch it’s 1.8. There were two fire pits and several options for tents. We had 4. The beach is rocks- not sand. This is the only easy place to get water to filter on the entire trail that we did other than at the campground. Boats can come up to it. Expect fishermen and mountain bikers to wake you up. We ended up taking the B connector to get to the Nickel Creek campground earlier because we needed water due to the high temps. The campground has 1 vault toilet. It’s a self-service campground where you pay $10 for the campsite per night and get a tag to hang. There is no ranger or attendant. It’s kind of an honor system. We did notice that someone had come by to refill toilet paper on Saturday morning. We stayed there 1 night. The campsites on the water seem to all have ways to get to the water, but be prepared to climb down a bit. There is a boat ramp and dock if you’d rather get water that way. We swam after climbing down from our site and it was great! The only time we were really in sun. The hike from the campground out to the North Welcome Center was pretty easy. The hardest part of the trail was the beginning and the first 2 miles after our camp. There were very few places to sit and eat lunch/snacks. I would recommend planning sitting when you cross one of the roads. About .7 miles before we got to the campground there was a beautiful overlook we could sit, rest and take pics in dirt rather than poison ivy. The sides of the entire trail are covered in poison ivy. However they are well maintained. So the only time we had trouble with it was finding places to go to bathroom or when mountain bikers came by without warning. There were lots of mountain bikers and many were there very early to beat the heat. Although 0% rain was predicted for the weekend, it rained a few times when storms popped up without warning over the lake. Definitely bring bug spray. We treated our packs and tents before and used spray a couple times a day. Sometimes you wouldn’t notice them at all and then you’d be in a swarm of mosquitoes. Only one member of our group had ticks (3) but caught them early crawling. We saw two campsites between connector B and the campground. They would not have fit many tents if any more than 1. They were both a scramble down from the trail and another scramble to the water. Cell service was different for different carriers but generally every mile or so we had service. It’s weak in the parking lot at the North Welcome Center for AT&T. Hope this helps someone plan their next adventure.

Nicole Mitchell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 10, 2020
HikingBugs

Backpacked this trail one night on 6/10. Pros: Well maintained with great views of the lakes, pretty flat overall, easy hiking, no other hikers, free for dispersed camping. Cons: Mosquitoes near the water, not too many "established" dispersed camp sites. We ended up camping inland in between marker 10 and 11 on the map (started counterclockwise at marker 1). There is a great beach campsite at 2.2 miles in and a cliff top campsite at 2.5 miles in if you start at marker 13 and head clockwise. Those were the most established, but there is plenty of open land to make your own site too. The whole forest should be good for hammocking also!

Ty Morningstar
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 23, 2020
HikingBugs
View Ty's Recording
Gunner elliott
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 21, 2020
Running

By far my favorite trail in LBL. I've ran, hiked, and biked this trail multiple times and it doesn't get old. The trail has always been in great condition because it stays pretty busy. Plenty of detours available if you want to shorten the trip and there are some awesome views along the way. I will say this though, there are a few detours that can get a little confusing. When I first adventured on this trail I kept a map with me because I was unfamiliar. Overall, I love this trail and recommend it to anyone, just be aware of the bikers because, on nice days, there are a bunch of them and move over when you see them!

Jeremy Upham
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 4, 2020
Hiking

We hiked this loop from 5/1-5/3/2020 and according to GPS it was just under 13 miles. We had a wonderful hike. Lots of bike users. Trail was beautiful the entire way. We sleep in hammocks and one night we had no problem finding a beautiful place to camp right on the water but the second night was not quite as easy. We did manage to find a spot but had to search. There were a couple small issues with navigation and finding the properly marked trail but nothing you couldn’t figure out quickly. Some areas with lack of water. Mosquitoes are starting to come out so bring repellent. Very easy trail to hike as far as difficulty and I certainly would like to go back and explore more. I would highly recommend.

T Melch
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BackpackingMuddyWashed out
View T's Recording
Holli Morrow
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 18, 2020
BackpackingMuddy

North trail head to C Connector. Rained last night but nothing impassable.

View Holli's Recording
Holli Morrow
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Hiking

A Connector

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Holli Morrow
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Hiking

B Connector

View Holli's Recording
Holli Morrow
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 5, 2020
Hiking

D connector to C connector

View Holli's Recording
Holli Morrow
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 5, 2020
Hiking

D connector

View Holli's Recording
Brian M.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 30, 2020
Hiking

Nice trail . Detour a little confusing.. easier to take road to trail on detour . Trail crosses road in this section.. A few trip hazards for tired feet .. a lot of mountain bikes on east side of trail.... Well maintained.

josh owen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 23, 2020

Backpacked about a 7 mile overnight while geocaching this trail. began at north trailhead traveling counter clockwise. nice hike on a well maintained trail with the unique feature of taking you along the shores of both Kentucky and Barkley lakes. We saw an eagle on the Ky Lake side. Hammock camped in a bay near Nickell Branch. Only setback was the literally dozens of bikers we shared the trail with.

Chris Copass
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 21, 2020
Hiking

Did the first 1.4 miles or so going east from North Welcome Center. Lots of cool creeks. Not too hilly. My 3 yo had a blast. Trail head is hidden from the welcome center but easy to find once you cross the Trace.

View Chris's Recording
Zach Hines
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Hiking

From most trail enteances it takes about 1.5-2 miles to get to the waterside. Aside from the views around the water, very little to see besides trees. Often used as a mountainbiking trail, there are some significant switchbacks and elevation change which is not difficult unless on bike. Some areas are rooty, not many rocks. Very enjoyable trail if you take time to explore a few yards off the main trail at the water.

Tristan Plummer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarDecember 8, 2019
Hiking

wonderful short workout hike with the dog. Fall leaves make a it a little challenging to find the trail and hides trip hazards well. Dog and I both enjoyed the trail.

View Tristan's Recording
Jill Thelen
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Hiking

great trail. not difficult.

Kory Cunningham
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Mountain bikingOff trailRocky

Road the trail with my wife and three boys (10, 8, 6). Perfect!

View Kory's Recording
Iain Howard
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 11, 2019
Hiking

One part of the trail was closed with a detour that wasn’t mark well and a little confusing. The trail itself was well marked and maintained. Found a great camping spot on the Kentucky Lake side about a mile or so in. Definitely going to hike again in the fall!

Steve Nielsen Jr
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 1, 2019
Hiking

Clearly marked and well maintained. Being a mostly mountain bike trail, there is definitely some elevation change, but nothing too strenuous. On a 90° day, the dog and I loved that it's almost completely shaded.

View Steve's Recording
Tom Walters
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 27, 2019
Hiking

fin trail to hike took about all day to hike it

View Tom's Recording
Mike Smith
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HikingBridge out

Great trail for hiking. Our group did an overnight. Plenty of good areas to camp in. Only complaint is the LBL park phone recording indicated there were no trail closures. However there was a trail closure on the SW side near the C connector. We were able to find the C connector, however the detour should have been better marked.

View Mike's Recording
Page Stauffer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 11, 2019
Hiking

Great little trail. Been using it to train for longer hikes. Very well marked with great views all around.

Trista Johnson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 24, 2019
Hiking

Great trail to see a little bit of everything Land Between the Lakes has to offer. Took my pup along and we did the full 10 mile trail. Well worth it!

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