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U.S. Forest Service

Southern Region Viewing Area


Crimsoneyed rosemallow. Crimsoneyed rosemallow (Hibicus moscheutos). Photo by Dan Busemeyer University of Tennessee Herbarium.

Spider Lily. Spider Lily. Photo by Edward W. Chester, University of Tennessee Herbarium.

fire pink. Fire Pink. Photo by Thomas G. Barnes, USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database.

Hematite Lake Trail

Forest: Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area (LBL)

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 (April and May). Hematite Lake Trail, named for the iron-ore that supplied nearby Center Iron Furnace in the late 1800’s, offers visitors a moderate 2.25 mile hike that follows the perimeter of Hematite Lake.

Viewing Information: Numerous species of wildflowers and ferns are found along this trail including Virginia bluebells, Cardinal Flower, Trout Lily, Spider Lily, Larkspur, trilliums, and several species of violets. The trail includes a .25 mile section of boardwalk that allows hikers to enjoy the sights and sounds of a wetland and beaver marsh at the far end of the lake. Restroom and picnic tables are located at the start of the trail.


  • 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 Land Between The Lakes (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.
  • Driving directions to Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area

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

Closest Town: Golden Pond, Kentucky.

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.