North / South Trail

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Trail Distance: 60 miles
Time Estimate: 23 hr 50 min
Elevation Gain: 200 feet
Leash Rule: On Leash
Difficulty: Hard
Parking: Free
Route Type: Point-to-point
Restroom: Yes
Description

The Land Between the Lakes Recreation area features 261 miles of trails. The North/South Trail stretches the full length of the recreation area in southern Tennessee into Kentucky, and forms the spine from which all the other trails flow. It's divided into 2 distinct sections: North and South. Wildlife here is abundant, and you'll see birds, small mammals, and deer.

The 28-mile mile Southern section, which arises at the Visitor Center in Golden Pond, is mostly easy walking along rolling hills, lakes, over creeks and through grassy fields and forestland. There are many options for picnicking and camping along the trail and when the lake is low, beaches appear for lying about or pitching a tent. One of the most fascinating bird watching adventures along this part of the trail is during the annual hummingbird migration, when the air is full of these little birds flitting from blossom to blossom. The South end of the trail is limited to pedestrians only, but you may meet a horse and its rider crossing intermittently. 

The 32-mile Northern section begins in Tennessee at the Hillman Ferry Campground. This section is more remote and rugged than the southern, and will have you hiking rugged trails along ridges and descending into bottomlands and back up again. Bikes share this section with hikers, so it's important to keep your fur-pup under control, whether on leash or by voice, to avoid mishaps. There may be some bushwhacking required and in places the trail is not clearly marked, so it's a good idea to take a map. Bridges cross seasonal wet creeks, and there is some hiking on roads, but they are old Forest Service Roads and lightly used. 

On both sections of the trail, you'll have views of the lakes and ponds as you pass, and you'll likely spy evidence of the towns that once spread across the valleys before the dam was built that formed the lakes. 

Whether you and Fido live in the area or are visiting, the North/South Trail is an adventure you won't soon forget.

Trail Features
Forest, Steep Inclines, Rocky, Easy Incline, Lake
Abundant Wildlife, Wildflowers, Scenic
Cautions & Considerations
This area is teeming with ticks. Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, and douse yourself in DEET or another effective tick spray before heading out. Examine your pooch for ticks at least once daily. This is backcountry hiking, so come prepared to carry everything in and out from the primitive camping sites.
Address
Golden Pond Visitor Center, 238 Visitor Center Dr
Golden Pond, KY 42211
Hours
Mon Open 24 Hours
Tue Open 24 Hours
Wed Open 24 Hours
Thu Open 24 Hours
Fri Open 24 Hours
Sat Open 24 Hours
Sun Open 24 Hours
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Address
Golden Pond Visitor Center, 238 Visitor Center Dr
Golden Pond, KY 42211
Hours
Mon Open 24 Hours
Tue Open 24 Hours
Wed Open 24 Hours
Thu Open 24 Hours
Fri Open 24 Hours
Sat Open 24 Hours
Sun Open 24 Hours