The Cumberland River was dammed in Grand Rivers, just 2 miles from the Kentucky Lake Dam, to make Lake Barkley. The lake is more shallow than Kentucky Lake, but just as exciting. Anglers will find the fishing exceptional on Lake Barkley. While the lake is probably best known for its spring crappie run, catfish and game fish such as large and smallmouth bass can be caught yearround. Spring, summer and fall months are filled with swimming, camping, boating, sunning, skiing, horseback riding, fishing, and golfing. Accommodations vary from scenic lakeside lodging to motels, hotels, and bed and breakfast establishments. These scenic lakeside resorts offer town houses, efficiencies, cottages, condos, and cabins. For the family who camps, both privately and publicly owned campgrounds are available. Campers can choose from primitive sites to developed campgrounds. Paved boat ramps are available along the shoreline, with area marinas offering a variety of services. If you don't own a boat, you can easily rent a fishing boat, pontoon, houseboat, or ski boat for the day or week. Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake, with a freeflowing canal, provide more than 600 miles of round-trip cruising. Local marinas offer shopping that includes clothing, specialty items (fishing & water sports) and gift items along with restaurants overlooking beautiful Lake Barkley where you can enjoy a delicious meal in a relaxing atmosphere. Don't forget to eat a country ham biscuit at the Cadiz Country Ham Festival in October.
Lake Barkley Tourist Information
There are multiple websites online today that provide information about the Kentucky Lake region. Whether you want to learn about Kentucky Lake fishing, golf courses, area restaurants, boating information, hunting information, community information, or more, the following websites can help you do research about where to go and what to do in the Kentucky Lake region:
Fishing Licenses in Kentucky
- Fishing License (annual) $20.00 (resident), $50.00 (non-resident)
- One (1) Day Fishing License $7.00 (resident), $10.00 (non-resident)
- Joint Fishing License (husband & wife) $36.00
- Combination Hunting & Fishing License $30.00
- Senior/Disables Licenses $5.00
Other Non-Resident Licenses-
- 7-Day Fishing License $30.00
- 15-Day Fishing $40.00
No Closed Angling Season in Kentucky
The Kentucky Lake region is accessible by car using Interstate 24, US Hwys 62, 68 & 641, the Western KY Parkway, the Purchase Parkway and KY 80.
There is a Greyhound Bus Terminal in Paducah.
There is an Amtrak train terminal in Fulton, KY, 50 southwest of Benton at the end of the Purchase Pkwy.
- Nearest Small Craft Airport - Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park Airport in Gilbertsville.
- Nearest Scheduled Airline Service - Barkley Regional Airport in Paducah.
- Nearest International Airport - Nashville International Airport in Nashville.
- Miss Scarlett's, Exit 31, off I-24, Grand Rivers, 928-3126. Miss Scarlett's offers a complete menu of fine southern cooking, including steaks, pork chops, seafood, walleye, bison burgers and more. Daily 6AM-9PM.
- Patti's 1880s Settlement / Mr. Bills Restaurant, 1793 J.H. O'Bryan Ave, Grand Rivers, ☏ . Two restaurants for your dining pleasure set in Patti's 1880s Settlement. Famous for its 2" pork chop, flowerpot bread and wonderful pies. lunch and dinner daily, 10:30AM-9PM.
In addition to these restaurants, there are more in the towns listed above in the cities listing.
Useful phone numbers in case of emergency.
- Fire/Police/Ambulance: 911
- KY State Police Emergency: +1-800-222-5555.
- Poison Control Center: +1 270 753-7588.
- Marshall County Rescue Squad: +1 270 527-9092.