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Elk & Bison Prairie in LBL

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Go back in time and cruise through the open prairies of the early 1900s at the Elk and Bison Prairie located at the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area! For a small fee, you can observe the wildlife that roamed Kentucky more than a century ago from the safety and comfort of your vehicle.

The Elk and Bison Prairie spans 700-acres of lush, native grasslands that have been enclosed to conserve a natural habitat for the elk and bison that had once disappeared from this region. A 3.5-mile road loops through the prairie, allowing you and your family to view all sorts of wildlife, including turkeys, various species of birds, small game and a number of prairie mammals.

Best Times to View the Wildlife

The sights and sounds of the Elk and Bison Prairie change from season to season, so you’ll want to take your family multiple times throughout the year.

Spring

In the spring, new life buds across the meadows. The elk and bison shed their winter coats, and in May, you’ll find new bison calves huddling close to their mothers.

Summer

In the summer, the grass and flowers grow and the animals flourish. The elk and bison are the most active during the day, so consider visiting in the early morning and late afternoon in order to take in the best views of the animals in their natural surroundings.  (A note of caution: Breeding season runs from July to September. Bison bulls can be especially aggressive during this time.)

Fall and Winter

As the leaves change in the fall, the elk begin to "bugle," calling for their mates. By winter, the large prairie animals have grown their thick winter coats once again. And, the cycle begins anew.

South Bison Range

Get a new view of the lumbering animals of Land Between the Lakes at the South Bison Range. From the Woodlands Trace National Scenic Byway, located just across from the Homeplace 1850s Working Farm, you can observe two 100-acre pasture areas. Bring binoculars for better viewing.

Slow Down and Enjoy the Scenery

Enjoy a slow, peaceful drive through The Elk and Bison Prairie while visiting Kentucky Lake and Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area. There’s no better way to spend an afternoon than marveling at the majesty of western Kentucky’s natural resources.

The Elk & Bison Prairie

SEASON  365 Days
HOURS  Sunrise to Sunset
ADMISSION  $5.00 per car.
GPS  N 36 47' 23.16" / W 88 03' 13.0"  {Map It!}
LOCATION  0.8 miles north of the Visitor Center on the Trace.

Lodging Options for Land Between The Lakes

Other than great campgrounds in LBL, you'll need to go outside the park to find full-service accommodations.  Just outside the boundaries of LBL and across the lakes there are tons of lodging options for virtually any type of vacation you might be planning.

Note:  ExploreKentuckyLake.com is not the official site of the Land Between The Lakes. You can access their official site here.


Elk Herd
Photo by Melodie Cunningham

This herd of female elk are enjoying a winter's day in the Elk and Bison Prairie in Land Between The Lakes.