For a variety of off-highway riding experiences, head off to the Turkey Bay Off-Highway Vehicle Area in Kentucky.
Located in the middle of the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, Turkey Bay offers about 100 miles of trails for many different riding experiences.
No matter which season you choose to visit Turkey Bay, the surrounding heavily wooded hills and valleys come alive with color. Redbud and dogwood bloom in early spring, the forest turns a lush green all summer and the changing leaves in the fall provide a variety of blazing colors.
Expect every trail condition imaginable. Because of the geology in the area, rocks are everywhere, from large and fixed to small, loose attention-getters that will test you and your tires. Don’t forget a tire-plug kit.
Many of the hills will challenge the novice rider but there’s always a way around.
One feature that makes this area special is Kentucky Lake. The park is set up so you can camp right at the water’s edge if you want to. Imagine after riding for a few hours you’re hot and sweaty so you ride down to the lake and go for a swim.
Riders at the park keep the area clean, urged on by “Pack it in, Pack it out” signs.
To ride the trails at Turkey Bay you can buy a permit for $20 that is good for one to three days, or an annual pass good from April 1 to March 31 for $100. Primitive camping costs $12 per camping unit per night. A camping unit is two tents or one camper. If the park entrance gatehouse isn’t staffed you can get the permit at the Golden Pond Visitor Center.
The gatehouse is open Thursday through Sunday. The Golden Pond Visitor Center is open Monday through Wednesday.
There is an abundance of camping sites but they fill up quick. Camping registration is self-service at the information kiosk in front of the gatehouse. The 2020 Turkey Bay OHV Area Registration and Liability Waiver Form can be downloaded at landbetweenthelakes.us/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/OHVLiabilityWaiver_final_web.pdf for faster registration.
Drinking water and chemical toilets are at the camping areas.
All riders are required to wear helmets. Also, riding is allowed from sunrise to sunset, riders must stay on signed designated trails and riders must stay within the boundaries of the Turkey Bay OHV Area.
All users must enter and exit the Turkey Bay OHV Area by way of Road 167 off the Woodlands Trace National Scenic Byway. All other accesses are prohibited.
Kentucky state law prohibits the public consumption of alcohol. The town of Aurora, about 4 miles away, is the closest town with restaurants, gas, groceries and motels.
Always “Call Before You Haul” (800-525-7077 or 1-270-924-2000) or check Alerts online at landbetweenthelakes.us/alerts-notices.