It took six years to build Kentucky Dam. Kentucky Reservoir, which crosses just about the entire states of both Tennessee and Kentucky has a massive 4,008,000 acre feet of flood storage capacity which helps reduce flood damage on six million acres of the lower Ohio and Mississippi rivers and reduces the frequency of flood damage on another four million acres. The Tennessee River flows south to north through Kentucky Reservoir.
Kentucky Dam is the last dam on the main-stem of the Tennessee River. It is about 20 miles upstream from the mouth of the Tennessee River where it flows into the Ohio River at Paducah, KY.
For more information about TVA dams, visit www.tva.gov.
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Since US-62 was moved downstream of the dam, the road over Kentucky Dam no longer allows through traffic. A portion of the road was converted into a greenway trail that connects Kentucky Dam Village State Park to the south to the visitor center, restrooms and tailwater fishing pier on the north end. There is also a tailwater fishing pier on the south shore and a boat launch ramp further downstream.
Located on Kentucky’s shores you will discover Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area (camping, paddle trails, off-road trails, horseback riding, wildlife viewing, boat launch ramps, hiking, visitor center, etc.), six state parks, the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge (hiking, hunting, wildlife viewing, boat launch ramps, and visitor center) as well as several state managed wildlife areas and numerous public access areas. There are many resorts, marinas, campgrounds and several historical sites scattered up and down the reservoir.
Lady's Bluff Small Wild Area Trail is a popular hiking destination with gnarled old cedars, limestone bluffs and sinkholes. Since it is across the reservoir from a wildlife refuge there are great opportunities for watching birds especially during migration periods. For more information about this trail, visit TVA's trail page.
All seasons. The visitor center is staffed with TVA retirees and its hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from April through October. Please check with Land Between the Lakes and Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge for hours and seasons for camping, hunting and fishing (during nesting season, portions may be closed)
How to Get There
From Paducah: Take US-62 east, toward Kentucky Dam; access road to the Visitor Center, fishing pier and restrooms will be on the right before crossing the river.
From Nashville: Take I-24W towards Clarksville. At exit 31, take ramp and turn left toward Grand Rivers (Dover Road) and Land Between the Lakes. Take ramp to US-62 and turn right. Turn left after crossing the river and drive over the dam to the visitor center and other amenities.
Visitor centers, trails, boat ramps, and canoe access points operated by TVA are provided to the public with no fee. Check with Land Between the Lakes and Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge for fees and licenses.
ADA Accessibility Notes
ADA accessible at restrooms, visitor center, paved trail, overlook, and both fishing piers
Pet Friendly Notes
Pets welcome but must be kept on a leash no longer than 6-feet. TVA is a partner of Leave No Trace and requests that visitors follow Leave No Trace practices, including picking up after your pet.