LBL is the largest inland peninsula in the United States. This inland peninsula formed between Kentucky Lake (Tennessee River) and Lake Barkley (Cumberland River) is a 270-square-mile national recreation and environmental education area. It is the second largest contiguous block of forested public land east of the Mississippi River. The region was primarily an iron production center during the mid-19th century. Seventeen iron furnaces operated within what is now LBL. Within LBL, 42,500 acres (25%) are set aside as a Biosphere Reserve. While most of LBL is forests, 7% (12,050 acres) consists of open lands; 2.3% (3,900 acres) farming activities for corn, soybeans, winter wheat and hay crops of which 20% is for wildlife; 0.6% (1,050 acres) for woods openings of 2-10-acres that provide habitat diversity and food for wildlife; and a (0.4%) 750-acre Elk & Bison Prairie that contains barrens grasslands.
Some of what LBL contains includes: 26 lake access areas with boat ramps, 5 courtesy docks, 4 fishing piers, 6 beaches, 90 bridges, 5 dams, 200 miles of hiking and biking trails, over 90 miles of horse and wagon trails, 1,535 campsites in four developed campgrounds, five lake access areas with primitive camping, virtually unlimited backcountry camping, and 300 miles of
Contains several Tennessee In Need of Management species including Cerulean Warbler and Henslow's Sparrow. Large numbers wintering Bald Eagles use LBL and ranks among the top four winter sites in Tennessee. The ten-year average (1991-2000) from the Mid-Winter Bald Eagle Survey is 38 birds. There are 11 active nesting sites between Tennessee and Kentucky.
The large and diversified habitats within the LBL attract a complement of species in their respective habitats. During the migration periods, the woods hold large numbers of Neotropical migrants. Some 25-30 species of warblers in a day occur regularly in the spring. In the breeding season, over 40 Neotropical species regularly breed including 17 species of warblers and 4 species of vireos. The vast interior woods hold significant numbers of Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Acadian Flycatcher, Red-eyed Vireo, Black-and-white Warbler, Worm-eating Warbler, Ovenbird, Summer Tanager, and Scarlet Tanager. Along edges and in bottomlands, Northern Parula, Louisiana Waterthrush, and Kentucky Warbler are common. Individual numbers of year-round species are high among them Red-bellied Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, and White-breasted Nuthatch indicative of the mature wooded habitat.