The Golden Pond Visitor Center
The Golden Pond Visitor Center serves as an information center for the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area which welcomes 1.5 million visitors a year. Located on a peninsula between Kentucky and Barkley Lakes in western Kentucky and Tennessee, this sprawling natural area boasts a unique mix of forests, wetlands, and open lands covering 170,000 acres. It is among one of the largest undisturbed areas in the eastern United States with over 500 miles of scenic hiking trails and 300 miles of natural shoreline, providing entertainment for hikers, picnickers, swimmers, hunters, and anglers alike.
At the Golden Pond Visitor Center a variety of brochures, recreational maps, trail maps, and state maps are available. Visitors will also find restrooms, vending machines, a gift shop, a children’s play area, pavilion, trail heads, a recycling center, and other amenities. Regional brochures are also provided, describing attractions in the surrounding area. Those looking to learn about the natural and social history of the area, including the legacy of the people who lived “between the rivers” and the construction of the Tennessee and Cumberland River Dams that formed the Land Between the Lakes, will enjoy the small museum.
Golden Pond Visitor Center also boasts a planetarium and observatory which offer a short video describing space exploration, planets, and the night sky. The building also serves as a trail head for the Central Hardwoods Scenic Trail.
For those looking to stay overnight, several campgrounds are located within the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, providing amenities for all tent camping/RV needs. Several primitive sites are available, as well as a campground that accommodates horses. Popular attractions include the Elk and Bison Prairie (a 700-acre enclosure where elk and bison live in a native grassland habitat), the Homeplace 1850s Working Farm and History Museum (featuring actors dressed in period clothing and completing farmyard chores), and the numerous programs centered around environmental education.