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Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley Attractions
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South Loop Scenic Drive

This is the longest scenic route at about 140 miles.  This is a great loop for history buffs, especially those who are interested in the Civil War.  It's definitely a full day with the stops!

We begin at Paris Landing State Park.  Here you'll find recreational opportunities and some great views of Kentucky Lake.  Head on down US 79 but turn on Oak Grove Road and head south.  Then follow Elkhorn Road to State Route 69A.  Follow this to Big Sandy.

In Big Sandy you'll see this once thriving railroad community that is located on the banks of the Big Sandy River.  From Big Sandy, head down 69A to Camden.  Camden has a few shops and some eateries, but most notably is has the Nathan Bedford Forest State Park.  Make sure you check out the visitor's center and Pilot Knob. 

From there, hop on US 70 and cross Kentucky Lake at New Johnsonville.  Railroad enthusiasts will get a kick out of the large vertical-lift span that crosses Kentucky Lake.  It's a huge railroad bridge, but very old and has tons of character.  Trains frequent this line so you'll probably get to see one.

Head to Johnsonville State Historic Park and visit their new state-of-the-art visitor's center to learn about The Battle of Johnsonville, a Civil War Site.  Make sure you check out the historical remains of the park.

From there, you can head a few miles down the road to Waverly, Tenn.  You could detour and head south on TN 13 to check out Loretta Lynn's Ranch and Campground.  Or you can head north on 13 to Erin, Tenn.  Make sure you to the downtown area.  This bustling little town has charm, and one of the few places we've ever seen an intersection that had one single stoplight - a throwback to the 1950s.

From Erin, head up TN 49.  You'll pass by the Bear Spring Furnace and Cross Creeks National Wildlife Refuge.  The road continues west to Dover, Tenn. where you can spend some time at Fort Donelson.

You could head up through LBL to visit some of the attractions there or you could call it a day and head back to Paris Landing.

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Good Times
Photo by Angela Smith

Being on Kentucky Lake is always a treasure. You hear it, feel it, see it, and sometimes smell it. It's always a good time at Kentucky Lake.