The Sands at Kentucky Lake

One of the most popular places to visit if you’re boating on Kentucky Lake is a place called “The Sands”.  I’m not sure who gets the credit for the namesake, but it’s obvious why.

The Sands stretches 2,000 feet along the lake’s shore near Birmingham Ferry Recreation Area in Land Between The Lakes. It’s one of very few places on Kentucky Lake that has natural sand.  And lots of it.

There are a handful of large limestone rocks that stick out of the sand, but this is a beach.  A for-real, bonafide natural sand beach.  The only catch – it’s almost impossible to get to by land in the summer.

With the lake low this time of the year (at 354.7’ when I visited today), it can be accessed by foot from Birmingham Ferry in LBL.  When the lake is at this level, you can walk across a small unnamed inlet and stroll about a quarter mile to The Sands.

I would say if it has recently rained, walking across that inlet might be a bit tricky – it can get muddy.  I didn’t have much trouble today, however.

The small inlet you'll need to cross to get to The Sands by foot. This inlet is underwater during the summer months.

In the summertime, the water level is about five feet higher than what you see in these photos. Much of the beach area is covered up.  And with the higher lake levels, I can’t imagine a way to get there by foot with the inlet being covered by water.

But many boats will beach at The Sands to relax, swim and have fun.  When TVA begins to lower the lake’s level in July, more of the beach area is exposed.  In August and September, it’s still summer and the water temperatures don’t drop to uncomfortable levels until early October.

Even though the water was clean and inviting on this late October morning, the water temperature was 67° – a bit to chilly for this guy.

If you long for the beach in a natural setting but don’t want to head to the Gulf of Mexico, this is a good spot to visit. If you can get there! 

An old homesite located on a rocky island near the sands. A white pole warns boaters of the obstruction.

Aerial Video of The Sands

This video was shot in early November 2020 of The Sands.

The Sands - Location

The Sands is usually only accessible by boat.

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