The present-day US 68/KY 80 corridor has been an important route for more than two centuries. With Canton’s modern history dating back over 200 years (not to mention the prehistoric era), it’s no wonder the main thoroughfare through this part of the county has changed a whopping five times. Evidence of all five generations of this strategic route exists today.
The Long Creek National Recreation Trail, located very near and in between Honker and Hematite Lakes, is paved and handicapped-accessible. This trail is ideal for individuals who use wheelchairs or have a tough time getting around.
The trail is very scenic. It has a printed guide at the trailhead so users can spot and distinguish different types of habitat along the way. At only two-tenths of a mile and completely flat, anyone can enjoy a taste of this environment.
When I was a kid, I thought it would be neat to be an archaeologist. I suppose that is why I find some of the remains of “past civilizations” fascinating in the Land Between The Lakes. But the society that is evident in LBL today was from 50 years ago, not 5,000… a period which most archaeologists might enjoy. In fact, many people remember what it used to be like in LBL before TVA took over. But for folks like me, we don’t have the memories… but we see the evidence and hear the stories.
Prior to the Land Between The Lakes being taken over the by US Forest Service from TVA, one of the more popular attractions in the park was Silo Overlook. It was located on the shores of Lake Barkley near Honker Lake at the end of Mulberry Flat Road (GPS 36.908W, 88.016N).
The structure was an abandoned silo that rises about 40 feet from the ground. It was converted into an overlook with a wooden incline built to the top. Folks could walk up the top of the silo for beautiful views of Lake Barkley.
“Vampire Hotel” (moniker) is an abandoned structure near Kentucky Lake in the Land Between The Lakes. The stone and concrete structure was partially torn down in the 1960s with the creation of LBL but part of it remained. It was one of just a handful of remaining structures in LBL not completely removed. Throughout the 1990s, it had become a popular hangout spot with locals – some of whom were less than reputable.
In 1901, William White had a problem. He wanted to bring a railroad to Cadiz, Kentucky from nearby Gracey to help transport tobacco and other freight across the area. Gracey had nice rail lines served by the Illinois Central and the Louisville and Nashville. Connecting Cadiz to Gracey would benefit the citizens of this Trigg County seat immensely.
Empire Farm is an abandoned farming educational and demonstration area in Land Between The Lakes. Empire Farm once served as the headquarters of the Kentucky Woodlands National Wildlife Refuge in the 1930s. The refuge covered large swaths of land in the northern portion of present-day Land Between The Lakes.
When Land Between The Lakes became a National Recreation Area in the 1960s, Empire Farm became an agricultural education center until sometime in the 1980s. The fields today are still maintained by cooperative farmers, but the buildings and barns have been abandoned for quite some time.