your paddlesports destination

Elk Reservoir Water Trail

Lake Barkley/Cumberland River

Location Overview

Location: Cross Creeks National Wildlife Refuge in Stewart County, TN, Lake Barkely/Cumberland River Access: There are two access points for this bay. 1) Double boat ramp off highway 233 just east of Carlisle; 2) small concrete ramp 9 miles past the refuge office/visitor center along gravel road that follows the Cumberland River. Time Allotment: 2.5 hour + Restrictions: This refuge is closed seasonally from Nov. 15th to Mar. 15th Hazards: Most of the time this bay is fairly wind protected, but the wind can be a factor on the larger fingers of the bay. Scenic Area: Elk Reservoir is a favorite for kayaking and canoeing in this area due the ease of access, its scenic beauty, and the large protected area with little boat traffic. This bay is fairly protected from the wind and motorized boats are restricted to idle speed/no wake. • Mostly clear shallow water filled with a variety of fish and wildlife. The many fingers of the bay make exploration fun and exciting. • Bring snacks, water, bug repellent, and binoculars Wildlife Viewing: Great • This area is somewhat remote, therefore a wide variety of wildlife frequents the area throughout the year. o Osprey and bald eagles can be seen frequently fishing in areas throughout the bay. An osprey platform is in the back of the middle finger of the bay and is occupied in the summer months. o A wide variety of songbirds are common sites along the forest edge. o Waterfowl begin arriving on their migration route just before we open or close for sanctuary (seasonally closed from Nov. 15th – Mar. 15th). o Herons and other wading birds are frequently viewed along with cormorants. o White-tailed deer are common along the shoreline.   For more information visit: watertrails/
  • Launch Point
  • Free Parking
  • Boat Ramp

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