Southern Region Viewing Area

LOCATION and PHOTOS

Prairie trillium.
There are many beautiful wildflowers to be enjoyed at Land Between The Lakes NRA: prairie trillium (above), dwarf crested iris, and Jacob’s ladder are but just a few of the dozens of spring wildflowers. Photos courtesy USDA Forest Service.

Dwarf crested iris.
Dwarf crested iris.

Jacob’s ladder .
Jacob’s ladder.

Crutcher Hollow Road

Forest: Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area

Description: Located in western Kentucky and Tennessee, Land Between The Lakes is home to a spectacular variety of wildflowers. Some of the showiest flowers can be seen in the springtime, before the thick forest canopy of summer foliage shades the forest floor. Crutcher Hollow Road, or Road 213, offers a gorgeous 2-mile stretch that can be a lovely stroll or drive down a quiet, scenic back road. The road is an easy walk on a gravel surface – you can walk as far as you like and turn back when you are ready. If you prefer to drive, you can drive to the end of the road, and then turn right to loop back to the main road where you started. Travelling Crutcher Hollow Road, you will follow a small, meandering stream, with numerous wildflowers blooming along its banks, and small bluffs and forest openings that offer a diversity of habitats. Crutcher Hollow is a “hidden gem” of the Land Between the Lakes – it is not very well known or highly visited. If you like to get off the beaten track, this might be a destination you would enjoy.

Viewing Information: You will encounter a diversity of wildflowers and ferns along Crutcher Hollow Road. The best time to visit this location is during the month of April, which is typically the peak of spring wildflower season in the Land Between The Lakes. Some of the species you can look for include dwarf crested iris, Jacob’s Ladder, prairie trillium, prairie larkspur, fire pink, American columbo, rue anemone, and downy phlox. Crutcher Hollow Road is just a little bit south of the Great Western Iron Furnace, The South Bison Range, and The Homeplace Living History Farm, so it is conveniently located near several other sightseeing destinations in the Land Between The Lakes.

Directions:

  • From the North: (Chicago) Take I-57 South to I-24 East just south of Marion, IL. Travel on I-24 East (around Paducah, KY) until you see Exit 31. Take Exit 31 to Hwy. 453 South towards Grand Rivers. Cross the canal between Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley and continue on 4-5 miles into LBL. The road becomes The Trace which is the main road through LBL. You will arrive at the North Welcome Station on the right side of the road.
  • From the South: (Memphis) Take I-40 East to Hwy. 641 North. Take 641 North towards Paris. At Paris, take Hwy. 79 North towards Dover. Just before Dover you will see a large, brown sign directing you to turn left for LBL (careful! It's easy to miss!). Turn left on this road, in about 4-5 miles it turns into The Trace. You will arrive at the South Welcome Station.
  • Where We Are Map (PDF, 90 KB)
  • General Land Between the Lakes Map (PDF, 1.7 MB)

For More Information: Visitors are encouraged to stop in at nearby Woodlands Nature Station for more information about wildflower and wildlife viewing sites within LBL. In addition, interpreters offer an extensive series of nature programs, including wildflower walks.

Ownership and Management: U.S. Forest Service, Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area.

Closest Town: Cadiz, Kentucky.