Southern Region Viewing Area
LOCATION and PHOTOS
Dwarf crested iris.
Fort Henry Trails
Forest: Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area
Description: Located in Western Kentucky and Tennessee, Land Between The Lakes (LBL) is home to a magnificent array of wildflowers. Blooms dapple the forest floor and woodland edges in a stunning variety of colors. Peak viewing occurs during the months of April and May. The Fort Henry Trails are named after the Confederate fort that connects the trail system. The trail system was used during the Civil War by Confederate and Union troops and is comprised of 10 trails totaling 26 miles. The area is steeped in a wealth of local history and natural beauty.
Viewing: A large diversity of wild flowers, ferns, trees, and rare plant communities are found along the trails. The forest floor is covered with Virginia bluebells, trilliums, rue anemones, and jack-in-the-pulpits. Dry ridge-tops are dominated by shortleaf pine and chestnut oak. Moist northern slopes are populated with beech and maple making this area unique in comparison with other sites in LBL.
Information, restrooms, and picnic tables are located at the South Welcome Station.
- From the North: (Chicago) Take I-57 south to I-24 east just south of Marion, IL. Travel east on I-24 to exit 31. Take Exit 31 to Hwy. 453 south towards Grand Rivers. Cross the canal between Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley, where Hwy 453 becomes “The Woodlands Trace” (LBL Scenic Byway), and continue 40 miles to the south-end of LBL. The trailheads are to the right of the South Welcome Station.
- 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 Land Between the Lakes (careful it is easy to miss). Hint: Take the road across from McDonalds. Turn left (North) on this road, in about 4-5 miles it becomes The Woodlands Trace. Continue northward until you arrive at the South Welcome Station. Trailheads for Fort Henry trails are located across from South Welcome Station.
- Where We Are Map (PDF)
- General LBL Map (PDF)
Ownership and Management: U.S. Forest Service, Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area.
Closest Town: Dover, Tennessee.
For More Information: Visitors are encouraged to stop in at nearby South Welcome Station or Woodlands Nature Station for wildflower and wildlife viewing sites in LBL. In addition, interpreters offer an extensive series of nature programs, including wildflower walks.