Kayak Energy Lake

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    Added by Bailey Brand

    -Secluded and quiet location.-Numerous inlets to kayak on the lake and nearby river.-Bathrooms and showers available that are well maintained.-Pet friendly.-Duration: Overnight

    Before going to the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area I had heard numerous people explain how peaceful and beautiful the area was, and how empty the lake was dependent on the season. These rave reviews called for a road trip and a 5 day stay in August, which fittingly happened in an old VW bus.

    Reservation: Reservations are preferred, which you can reserve your spot here. However I failed to make one and we arrived after the gate office closed. We went ahead in and selected a campsite that was marked as available on the board located at the office entrance. The staff was extremely nice, polite, and didn't have any issues with our lack of reservation or late arrival.

    Location: The park itself and the Energy Lake entrance to the park is very secluded. So make sure you pack enough food to last for the duration of your stay and that you have enough fuel. The campground I selected to stay at was Energy Lake. It was very quiet and peaceful, with only 3 other campers our entire stay. Everyone was extremely respectful, quiet, and polite. We got numerous compliments as people walked past about the smell of our food cooking or about the old bus we were in, however it wasn't too invasive if you are a person that prefers no contact with those around you. The Energy Lake campground has easy-direct access to Energy Lake, Lake Barkley, and the Cumberland River. There was a slight hill down to the lake from our campsite but it wasn't difficult. The campgrounds are equipped with communal showers and bathrooms, which were well maintained-cleaned. Each of the campsites also had a gravel lot to park your vehicle on, a fire ring, a cement picnic table, and most came with an elevated outdoor outlet. There is backcountry camping available also.

    Hiking: The trails were decently marked and maintained, they were easy in their experience/difficulty level. There were some great and unexpected lake views, in addition to wildlife.

    Kayaking: Energy Lake itself is a dammed off potion of Lake Barkley and the Cumberland River. It was large enough that it had multiple inlets and streams off of it that we were able to explore. There was a large amount of wildlife we saw while kayaking and some large fish in the water, if you are an angler. The water is very calm and smooth, with no waves. If you make a brief portage at the boat ramp you are able to walk across a gravel road and then can enter Lake Barkley/Cumberland River. Lake Barkley/Cumberland River water was choppy and did become more difficult due to unexpected rain. However the water wasn't busy and also had numerous inlets that provided exploration. In Lake Barkley there was a small island that was occupied by a large number of birds, which was really interesting to see but I wouldn't suggest portaging on it for health reasons. They have canoes you can rent in the event you don't have your own kayak or canoe.

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    Camping
    Kayaking
    Hiking
    Bathrooms
    Dog Friendly
    Easy Parking
    Family Friendly
    Forest
    Lake
    River
    Wildlife

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    We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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