Discover the North/South Trail – South in Land Between the Lakes

If you’re looking for an unforgettable hiking adventure, look no further than the North/South Trail – South in the picturesque Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area. This scenic trail stretches across Kentucky and Tennessee, offering breathtaking views and diverse landscapes for outdoor enthusiasts to explore.

As you embark on this 31-mile journey, you’ll be treated to a variety of experiences, from tranquil shoreline paths along Kentucky Lake to winding trails through wooded ridges and bottomland hardwood stands. The trail is open to both hikers and bikers, allowing you to choose your preferred mode of exploration.

Safety is a top priority on the North/South Trail – South due to its remote location and unreliable cell service. Be sure to register at the North Welcome Station Trailhead and obtain a free Backpacking Permit before setting off. These precautions ensure that park officials can keep track of hikers and provide assistance if needed.

Key Takeaways:

  • Explore the scenic North/South Trail – South in the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area.
  • Experience stunning views, diverse landscapes, and a 31-mile adventure.
  • Register and obtain a free Backpacking Permit for safety on the remote trail.
  • Respect the environment, wildlife, and follow trail rules and regulations.
  • Enjoy the trail in the spring and fall seasons for optimal hiking conditions.

Trail Rules and Regulations on the North/South Trail – South

In order to ensure the safety and preservation of the North/South Trail – South, there are specific rules and regulations that visitors must adhere to.

  1. Registration: Backpackers are required to register at the North Welcome Station Trailhead and obtain a free Backpacking Permit. This allows park officials to monitor the whereabouts of hikers and ensure their safety.
  2. Campfires: Campfires are permitted in previously used sites, but visitors must attend to the fire at all times and completely extinguish it before leaving.
  3. Respecting the Environment: It is important to respect the environment and wildlife by camping at least 50 feet from the marked trail, burying all human waste 200 feet from the trail, and leaving plants, flowers, and historic items untouched.
  4. Low-Impact Techniques: Visitors should use low-impact techniques, stay on designated trails to prevent soil erosion, and pack out all garbage.
  5. Restrictions: Motor vehicles are prohibited except for approved organized events. Firearms are also prohibited on the trail.
  6. Safety Precautions: It is essential for hikers to be prepared for unexpected and dangerous conditions and to take necessary precautions, such as protecting themselves from ticks and poison ivy, treating trailside water before consuming, and being aware of their own safety at all times.

Trail Safety Tips:

“Always remember that safety is the top priority when hiking. Take the time to plan ahead, be aware of your surroundings, and follow the trail rules and regulations. By doing so, you can have a safe and enjoyable hiking experience on the North/South Trail – South!”

By adhering to the trail rules, camping regulations, and hiking safety guidelines, visitors can help protect and preserve the North/South Trail – South for future generations to enjoy.

Highlights and Milestones of the North/South Trail – South

The North/South Trail – South offers a variety of trail highlights, camping options, and scenic views along its 31-mile stretch. As hikers embark on their journey from the North Welcome Station, they are immediately greeted with breathtaking views of Kentucky Lake, walking parallel to its picturesque coast.

What makes this trail truly special is the opportunity for loop hikes and access points through numerous Forest Service roads, allowing hikers to customize their adventure and explore specific sections of the trail. Along the way, backcountry shelters provide overnight camping options, while natural springs offer convenient sources of fresh water.

As the trail winds through wooded ridges, hikers are enveloped in a serene ambiance, offering moments of solitude and tranquility. Along this scenic route, wildlife can be observed in their natural habitat, making for an awe-inspiring experience. Scenic spots like Pisgah Bay, Duncan Bay, and Higgins Bay provide opportunities for hikers to take a well-deserved rest and soak in the beauty of their surroundings.

The North/South Trail – South concludes at the Golden Pond Visitor Center, where hikers are welcomed with convenient parking, accessible restrooms, and picnic areas. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a nature enthusiast, this trail promises a diverse and unforgettable hiking experience in the heart of the Land Between the Lakes.

FAQ

Is the North/South Trail – South open to both hikers and bikers?

Yes, the trail is open to both hikers and bikers.

Are there any safety precautions that I should be aware of when hiking the North/South Trail – South?

Yes, it is necessary to register at the North Welcome Station Trailhead and obtain a free Backpacking Permit for safety purposes.

Can I have a campfire while hiking the North/South Trail – South?

Yes, campfires are permitted in designated areas. Please ensure that you attend to the fire at all times and completely extinguish it before leaving.

What should I do to respect the environment and wildlife while hiking the North/South Trail – South?

Visitors are encouraged to camp at least 50 feet from the marked trail, bury all human waste 200 feet from the trail, and leave plants, flowers, and historic items untouched. Additionally, please use low-impact techniques, stay on designated trails to prevent soil erosion, and pack out all garbage.

Are pets allowed on the North/South Trail – South?

Yes, pets are allowed on the trail but must be kept on a leash at all times. Please ensure that waste is disposed of properly.

When is the North/South Trail – South open for hiking?

The trail is open in spring and fall, providing a picturesque and unforgettable hiking adventure.

Technical Information for the North/South Trail – South Section

Trail NameNorth/South Trail – South Section
LocationLand Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, Kentucky/Tennessee, USA
Total LengthApproximately 31 miles (South Section)
Trail TypePoint-to-point
Difficulty LevelModerate
Elevation GainVaries along the trail; generally moderate elevation changes
Terrain TypeMixed hardwood forests, open lands, lake shores
Approximate Hiking Time2-3 days for the entire South Section
Trailhead LocationsNorthern end: Near Golden Pond Visitor Center; Southern end: Near the South Welcome Station
CoordinatesStart point (North): Approx. 36.776, -88.055; End point (South): Approx. 36.564, -88.045
UsageHiking, backpacking, camping
AmenitiesPrimitive camping sites along the trail; water sources and restrooms at certain points
Water SourcesNatural sources available; treatment recommended before consumption
HighlightsDiverse wildlife, scenic views of Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley, tranquil forest settings
AccessibilityTrail is not wheelchair accessible; some sections may be challenging for less experienced hikers
Pet PolicyPets allowed on leash
Best Time to VisitSpring and fall for milder temperatures and reduced insect activity
Permit/Pass RequirementsNone for hiking; camping may require a permit
Cell Phone ReceptionVariable; some sections may have limited to no reception
Safety TipsBe prepared for changing weather conditions; carry a map, compass/GPS, and adequate supplies

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