According to the Consumer Family Travel Survey, 80% of families managed to fit in a summer vacation. However, not every family is fortunate enough to get to take that time away—for whatever the reasons, the fact is things come up. Life is busy. 

While Summer will always literally be “the hottest time” to travel, its passing doesn’t mean your family must forfeit making great vacation memories this year.  

Nature-lovers flock to Lake Barkley and the Land Between the Lakes, especially in the Fall, to experience the debut of the brisk, cooler part of the year while surrounded by the warm colors in every tree line. 

Fall is the perfect time to experience Lake Barkley’s 58,000 acres of water, where a care-free outing can include a leisure boat ride or fishing in the cooler waters for bass, crappie, catfish and bluegill. And considering the thinner layers of vegetation, it’s more common (and exciting) to spot wildlife along the shoreline. 

The turning trees make for a fantastic natural off-road race track. ATV riders of all skill-levels take to Turkey Bay Off-Highway Vehicle Area for trail-shredding fun—racing through forests, over hills, and along the shoreline of Lake Barkley, with its waters kissing the trail edges. The destination is also known for the “Turkey Trot,” a half-mile ATV trail perfect for kids. 

Other visitors prefer a more organic mode of trail exploration—opting for four legs instead of tires and an engine. Wranglers Campground—considered one of the best horseback riding places in Kentucky—features more than 100 miles of horse trails.

Read Also: Experience Fall in the Appalachian Mountains

If you’re in the area during October’s second weekend, set aside plans to visit historic downtown Cadiz.  The Country Ham Festival will be in full swing, bringing smiles to faces as kids ride carnival rides while adults enjoy the packed-schedule of live music and entertainment. 

Plan your visit to Cadiz, Lake Barkley and see for yourself why visitors return home with memories of “The friendliest place we’ve ever been.”