Route: Central Hardwoods

Submitted by zlever on Tue, 05/03/2022 - 08:28am
Kentucky, US
23.3 mi
Vertical Gain
1,378 ft

The Central Hardwoods trail connects the Lake Barkley bridge at Canton, KY to the Eggners Ferry Bridge in Fenton, KY.  This FKT travels the entire width of the Land Between the Lakes (LBL) National Recreational Area and crosses over the famous LBL North/South trail.

It is a 22.3 mile out and back with about 6.5 miles paved asphalt and approximately 16 miles of dirt trails. The trails are exceptionally well maintained and fast.

For this FKT, start in Canton, KY on the east side of the Lake Barkley bridge at the railing facing the river as shown (see pic 1). Start your watch, touch the railing and take the asphalt path up to the bridge (see pic 2) and follow the path across the river towards Golden Pond Visitor Center. The first 3 miles are an asphalt path before entering a trail that will lead you to Golden Pond. You reach Golden Pond at approximately 7.5 miles in. Water is available from spigots (public tap) but not conveniently located next to the trail. You must travel off the trail approximately .10 to .15 miles north to use the spigots of fresh water. Make sure you return to the same spot you left the route if you decide to depart from the route to get water. There is also a fresh source of water available sometimes depending on the weather from some stream crossings (see pic 3) as you head further past Golden Pond and towards Fenton, KY. The turnaround point (see pic 4) will be approximately 11.65 miles from the start point. Once the trail turns to asphalt again you will see a sign with a map of the trail. The sign has FENTON spelled in large letters. Touch the sign here at Fenton and return back to Canton using the same route. You have completed this FKT once you return and touch the railing in Canton. (See pic 5).


Link to Land Between the Lakes description and map of the Central Hardwoods Trail.  North End of North/South Trail (


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Profile picture for user Cass Lynch

Once again, thanks Zach for creating this FKT route. Can’t believe it took this long for it to go up. I normally run the wooded part quite frequently. Good running!!!

Thanks Cass!! Check out the Fort Henry loop I created as well. Happy running to you as well my friend!

Attempting this one unsupported tomorrow around sunrise.  Happy St Patricks Day!  

Made it!  Wow what a fantastic trail. Trail conditions were perfect.  I'll add more later. 

3hrs23mins unsupported.  I'll submit paperwork this evening.  


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Profile picture for user LynnzRunz

I am giving this a go tomorrow morning, 03/18/2023. Hoping for a gorgeous day! Happy trails to you all.

Thanks, Zach! Thanks for making such a fun route!