Lake Barkley

Nashville District
Published Jan. 10, 2024
Ariel photo of Lake Barkley Lock and Dam Project, Grand Rivers, Ky. (USACE photo)

Ariel photo of Lake Barkley Lock and Dam Project, Grand Rivers, Ky. (USACE photo)


Lake Barkley

The lake provides a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities for millions of visitors each year.  The lake covers 57,900 acres at summer pool, elevation 359 mean sea level, and is surrounded by 1,004 miles of shoreline.  Natural conditions at Lake Barkley make it possible for the public to participate in activities such as hiking, fishing, hunting, camping, picnicking, and boating.  In addition, there is a Civil War Monument, historic relics, commercial marinas, public parks and wildlife refuges.  The many species of wildlife here, including golden and bald eagles, make bird watching and nature photography exciting pastimes.

Lake Barkley is located in an area that varies from gentle to moderately rolling hills, typical of scenic southwestern Kentucky and north central Tennessee.  It is a beautiful area interspersed with open fields, old growth timber and picturesque bluffs.  The lake, in its upper reaches, passes through the site of the famous Civil War battlefield now preserved as the Fort Donelson National Battlefield located in Dover, Tennessee. 

The project was first identified as the Lower Cumberland Project, but was later redesignated as Barkley Lock and Dam and Lake Barkley in honor of the late Alben W. Barkley, the 35th Vice President and United States Senator from Paducah, Kentucky.



Monday-Friday 7:00 AM – 4:00 PM

200 Barkley Dam Overlook Grand Rivers, Ky. 42045