Canal Loop Trail

MODERATE 43 reviews
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Canal Loop Trail is a 10.6 mile moderately 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.

10.6 miles
889 feet

dogs on leash





mountain biking

nature trips

trail running






23 days ago

I headed out Sunday morning about 7am. I wanted to hit the trail while it was still froze from the night before. As I got started from the north Welcome Center. Trails were snow covered from the last snow. For the most part the first half of the trail was great not to wet at all. It was a little slippery but not to bad. I ran into three other hikers enjoying breakfast down on the lake, I said hello then moved on. I got to the first road crossing and just before that the bridge was out so a short detour and I was back on the trail. I would soon learn that was to be the norm for the rest of the trail either no bridge or it was tore up and not useable. Followed the canal section and it was nice and dry, gave my feet a chance to dry/warm up. The second half on the Cumberland river side was boring at first then opened up to follow the river. It was nice hiking and saw some interesting things the rest of the hike. The first thing I saw that really interested me was a cemented in slough down to the river. It was quite a ways off the road so makes me think what was it used for and when was it built? The next few things looked to be bunkers or maybe root cellars made of block, again a ways off the road so wondered what they were back in the day. Shortly after those ended up back at the welcome center and packed up and headed home for game night with friends and the wife. I am headed down to the fort Henry Trails next in preparation for the North / South on the first weekend of Feb. See you on the trails!

3 months ago

The Canal Loop Trail in the Land Between the Lakes Recreation Area is well marked and scenic. One can visit two lakes and a canal in a single day's hike. Several connector trails allow hikers to lengthen and shorten as desired. The Kentucky Lake side features hilly terrain, which is easily traversed by anybody who is reasonably fit. It also offers the most impressive scenery. I saw deer, squirrels, geese, and woodpeckers along the trail, while encountered very few people during the chilly Friday afternoon I was there.

4 months ago

Great fast sections and difficult hills on west side

10 months ago

Great trail with great views of the lake and wildlife! Loved the backcountry policy on camping overnight! Will definitely return!

Monday, December 12, 2016

This was a great trail with some amazing views. The Lake Barkley side features more gently rolling hills while the Kentucky Lake side has steeper hills with some great mountain biking terrain. One huge negative was the hunters and their dogs we encountered directly on the trail near Forestry Service Road 102. One of the dogs blocked our path and bared its teeth, and it took several tense minutes for the owner to gain control. I'm all for licensed hunting in the park but not within 150 yards of the trails. This was an otherwise nice hike and rated moderate mostly for distance.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

This is an amazing trail! There are tons of animals to see, even eagles and coyotes. To read more about the trail and a detailed review, please visit my website:

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Great, easy family trail to hike and enjoy nature.

Saturday, September 05, 2015

The trail is really good for all family members. Look out for the mountain bikers throughout the trail. If you are a nature's lover, you will get to see bald eagles in the area hunting. Nice places to take a photo right next to the lake area. Overall was a great hike, I recommend it.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Easy terrain. Not a whole lot to look at in the winter. But it's probably nicer in other seasons. Nice day hike in an area that sorely needs more long trails.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

It's a great trail. Some of the best views among the Land Between the Lakes trail systems, but watch out for mountain bikers if you're on foot. Most bikers are experienced and practice good trail etiquette with hikers, but occasionally you'll meet an erratic bunch.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

This up-n-down trail offers great views of two spectacular lakes. In addition to plenty of drinking water, bring good boots or protective toed shoes as there are continuous exposed roots and stone edges to stub your toes on. In other words, this is no trail for flip flops or sandals. We encountered mostly mountain bikers but as a hiking trail it us fine but will test your stamina.

mountain biking
Sunday, November 18, 2012

great fun and had plenty of challenges along the way.

mountain biking
Friday, February 10, 2012

I love riding this trail! The views of both lakes are breath taking, can be a bit windy at times. If you decide to cut it short there are many places you can head back to the main road. Best trail in the area by far!

mountain biking
Sunday, September 18, 2011

I loved riding here. It was my first time mountain biking. My father is trying to lose weight so we bought mountain bikes and did this trail yesterday. As I told everyone else, you can't even pay for better fun. Not for the weak, we figured that out pretty quick. But the experience is worth the time and effort

26 days ago

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