If you’re a wildlife lover there’s nothing quite like being able to see it in its natural habitat and one of the places where you can view amidst beautiful surroundings is in The Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area.
A Peninsula bordered by Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake and surrounding communities, LBL is an area of wooded peaks, ridges and grassy parkland which populated with indigenous species and thanks to a conservation program, some re-introduced and endangered species. At LBL you can visit the Forest Service managed centers and specific animal compounds, take an organised tour or you can connect with nature at your own leisure. You might like to visit the Woodland Nature Station where The Backyard exhibits animals that can no longer survive in the wild or there’s the Elk and Bison Prairie where the animals roam freely on regenerated prairie grassland. If you however, want to be left to your own devices LBL is running a pilot program to help you organised your own wildlife viewing adventure.
For a self guided tour, LBL provides a map that you simply download from the website from which you choose where you want to go. The map covers an area in the north of LBL and includes the location and details of how long the trail is and what wildlife you can expect to see. Apparently the best self guided wildlife viewing tours are planned for early morning and late afternoon as this is when the animals are more active.
At some of the locations you can take canoe trips to observe the wildlife of the lake waters or the shoreline but most of the highlighted areas are just as much fun from the trails. The animals and birds of LBL are varied and interesting. If you love birds you’ll thrill at Canada geese, osprey, pelicans and blue heron. Animal lovers can enjoy fallow deer, white-tail, coyote, bob cat and fox squirrels, all sorts of amphibians and butterflies and for something special, beavers.
Remember to stay safe and don’t forget the insect repellent.