Land Between the Lakes (LBL) Mapping Download

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Airmapper

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Contributor I

I don't know if any of you here are familiar with the area, but Land Between the Lakes is a huge recreational area in western Kentucky, that attracts a lot of off road vehicles due to miles and miles of access roads with everything from mild to challenging, and for the even more capable vehicles, a dedicated off road park. It's also packed with camping options from full hookup to dispersed.

I go there every year, several times a year, for at least the past 20 years. A lot of that was as a kid, and I still haven't run out of things to do or see while I"m there. It's an Overlanders paradise.

Every year when the MVUM is prepared, the Forest Service provides the GIS data electronically online. However, this is not a replacement for using the MVUM to determine legal roads, errors can happen and the paper document (PDF) is deemed legal. This data is only good for 2016.

Some roads are closed during Turkey season, refer to the MVUM to determine the dates and what roads are closed. This data does not distinguish those roads. It is usually 3/27-5/5, but CHECK THE MVUM!

What I do is load up the data as I have compatible GIS software. Then I cull through and eliminate roads we are likely not interested in. Paved roads as they are on most GPS mapping by default, I also cull out driveways, camping area roads, and so forth that are not of significant interest. The reason I am so selective is to get the track number under 300, which is the typical cutoff for some mobile device mapping programs.

This year I got it down to 217. I test imported to MotionX HD and it successfully loaded. The GPX file type is suitable for most GPS devices and smartphone / tablets.

Use for general reference only.
This is the Forest service data repackaged and modified for your convenience. Please see this info from them:

http://www.landbetweenthelakes.us/visit/maps/

Geographical Information System (GIS) Data Disclaimer:
The legal status of Land Between The Lakes’ roads and OHV trails are subject to change. Please refer to the current Land Between The Lakes Motorized Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) for official legal road/OHV trail status.

The Forest Service uses the most current and complete GIS data available. GIS data accuracy may vary. Using GIS data for purposes other than those for which they were created, may yield inaccurate or misleading results. The Forest Service reserves the right to correct, update, modify or replace GIS data without notification.
FS Law Enforcement violations will be determined by use of official Land Between The Lakes maps: MVUM, General, Recreation, Hunt Area, Campground, and Trail.
Update 2018

2017 data is expired and I am not compiling this for 2018. Access to links has been removed.
 
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Jordan

Rank 0

Traveler II

How rough are the trails? Are there places to go around pits and rocks or do you need a pretty stout 4x4 to go anywhere? Ive always wanted to go down there and camp on the lake, since its one of the few places "locally" that allows full size vehicles, but im afraid of being disappointed if my vehicle cant make the trails
 
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Airmapper

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Contributor I

How rough are the trails? Are there places to go around pits and rocks or do you need a pretty stout 4x4 to go anywhere? Ive always wanted to go down there and camp on the lake, since its one of the few places "locally" that allows full size vehicles, but im afraid of being disappointed if my vehicle cant make the trails
Totally depends on "what" trail. It's a mixed bag and you'll find all difficulty levels from plain gravel roads to "get me out of here." I will say it's the best area to take a stock vehicle, you just need to be wise about when to turn around. I have wheeled a Ford Escape out there, I got stuck once and it wasn't fun, but I did have about as much off road fun as you'll ever get out of an AWD CUV there.

A description of your vehicle would help. I could possibly "recommend" some trails to start, but conditions change so you'd need to take it with a grain of salt. Better yet, I doubt you would have to twist my arm to get me out there, depending on what I have going on at the time, unfortunately I'm busy more often than I'd prefer, but it's within day trip range for me.

Here is a taste of one of the more difficult trails. But as I said, it totally depends on the road, most are less difficult than the one shown. Plus it was raining and slick as snot. Oh yeah, rain changes everything, don't get caught back a trail before a rain if your not well equipped to get back out.

 
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Jordan

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Traveler II

Great video! Im surprised that Land Rover had such a rough time. Ive got a 2004 Subaru Forester, im getting a set of general grabbers and 1" strut spacers. So definitely not a hard core offroader, but ive had other subarus before and they hold there own until the ground clearance runs out. My buddy has a 96' Outback with a WRX motor and Grabber ATs, he will definitely be with me.
Maybe another month or so when the weather starts drying up we'll try to make a run down, ill let you know when we plan on it. We are in Owensboro, btw
 
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Tim D

Rank I
Member

Contributor I

271
Nashville
Member #

3568

I was born and raised in Dover, which lies on the southern end of LBL, so I know it well. Since I am now living back in Tennessee, I may have to schedule a weekend down there.
 

GreenMachine02

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Advocate I

1,440
Oakwood, Ohio
Member #

5762

Totally depends on "what" trail. It's a mixed bag and you'll find all difficulty levels from plain gravel roads to "get me out of here." I will say it's the best area to take a stock vehicle, you just need to be wise about when to turn around. I have wheeled a Ford Escape out there, I got stuck once and it wasn't fun, but I did have about as much off road fun as you'll ever get out of an AWD CUV there.

A description of your vehicle would help. I could possibly "recommend" some trails to start, but conditions change so you'd need to take it with a grain of salt. Better yet, I doubt you would have to twist my arm to get me out there, depending on what I have going on at the time, unfortunately I'm busy more often than I'd prefer, but it's within day trip range for me.

Here is a taste of one of the more difficult trails. But as I said, it totally depends on the road, most are less difficult than the one shown. Plus it was raining and slick as snot. Oh yeah, rain changes everything, don't get caught back a trail before a rain if your not well equipped to get back out.

Great video! A couple of buddies and I are heading down. I have a perfectly capable FJ, but my buddy will be driving a stock Forester with some A/T tires. Any trails you would recommend? Or any camp sites that are off the beaten trail?
 

RusticTrailOverland

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Contributor I

271
Johnstown, Ohio
Member #

1424

In 2012 I took my family on a vacation to LBL. At that time I had just bought my 2006 Jeep Commander and wanted to explore. That was my first real "off-road" experience in a vehicle. Even though growing up we hiked and camped several times a year, this was my first vehicle based exploration. I was unaware and unprepared. Although we only went on 1 MVUR road and it was fine, we were 450 miles from home and knew nobody to call. I felt that I did not have the equipment or knowledge to safely recover if things went south. So the rest of our trip we hit the main road and major tourist attractions (Elk & Bison Prairie, Nature Center, and Homestead). Although our time was short, we fell in love with the area and the true wilderness that it offered. This June we plan to return to LBL better prepared and ready to explore. We have a new main Overland vehicle which is a 2003 Toyota 4Runner. Currently it is bone stock, but I feel better with its capabilities. Also my family and I won't be alone. With my brother and his Geo Tracker and a close friend of ours Jeep Cherokee we have formed Rustic Trail Overland! A family oriented Overland Team dedicated to family friendly, friends, and good times. Getting our children outside and experience the great outdoors while respecting nature, history, and the core value of family time.

With all that said I was intrigued to see your post about LBL. Will you be updating another map file fore 2017 once the information is released? Do you have any suggestions for what areas to see? Do you think a winch is a necessity for most of the trails? Can I continue to contact you about LBL?

Thank you everyone!

Korey F.
Rustic Trail Overland
 
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Tim D

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Nashville
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LBL for the most part is a mild wilderness area. Most of the fire roads are old logging roads and can get a bit muddy. There is a dedicated off road park as well called Turkey Bay. I believe the admission is $20 per person. You're truck should be fine. Most any stock 4x4 will be sufficient.
 

GreenMachine02

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Advocate I

1,440
Oakwood, Ohio
Member #

5762

Is alot of the roads accessible with a wider 4wd like my truck? Im moving back around may this year and curious to find some milder trails

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Just to give you a heads up, in my experience when there, 100 roads are pretty much gravel roads and they progressively get more rutted/muddy/difficult the higher the number. We spent a weekend there and the 300 roads were the only roads requiring 4 wheel drive. There are some amazing camping places back there so take some time and find some lake front camping in the backcountry!

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GoingCommando

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Contributor II

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Lexington, KY
Member #

5135

I'll second that thank you to Airmapper. It is SO helpful for a newbie to be able to download these GPS tracks. Another one I found in Eastern KY is the Kentucky Adventure Trail. Has anybody heard of it? It's a long route that circles through the Appalachians mostly in KY but touching on WV, NC and TN. I'll try to find the link to the download.


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Tudelum48

Rank I

Traveler I

Going Commando the KAT is one of the best kept secrets around. Jeff did a great job building it and maintaining the tracks for it. He has tracks for dual sport bikes and 4X4. The RED trails will test you. I've ran it twice on bikes and plan to try the 4X4 maybe this year. The word is getting out though. It was exclusively on the ADVRider website. Now it has its own site just google KAT.
 

Realwarrior

Rank III
Member

Traveler II

528
Southeastern Kentucky
Member #

1734

I used to hunt lbl every year spring and fall and used to ride it most weekends when I was at Campbell. I'm from Eastern Ky and love within a mile of part of the KAT
 

Tudelum48

Rank I

Traveler I

You better be careful telling people you live within a mile of the KAT they will call you a Hillbilly. lol
Thank you for your service. Im west of Campbell.