Lake Barkley was impounded by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers in 1966. The dam impounds the Cumberland River 38 miles upstream from where the Cumberland River empties into the Ohio River. Lake Barkley was created 20 years after Kentucky Lake was created. Both lakes run parallel for over 50 miles. Above the dam a canal connects Lake Barkley to Lake Kentucky. Between the two lakes is an area called "The Land Between the Lakes". This is a huge recreation area with many hiking trails, wildlife areas and other uses. Some of the wildlife includes golden and bald eagles. There is a state park located on Lake Barkley, which includes a marina and a lodge.
An interesting fact is that when Lake Barkley was impounded the towns of Eddyville and Kuttawa had the total populatins relocated. Only areas of the towns that were in the higher elevations survived to now be know as Old Eddyville and Old Kuttawa. Lake Barkley is also near the towns of Grand Rivers, Cadiz, Canton, and Dover,TN.
At summer pool of 359 feet above sea level Lake Barkley has 1,004 miles of shoreline and occupies 57,920 acres. The lake also stretchs a length of 118 miles long. At winter pool of 354 feet above sea level Lake Barkley occupies 45,210 acres. Summer pool is reached by May 1st. Then it starts gradually dropping starting on July 1st. The winter pool is then reached December 1st. Then it will start rising on April 1st in order to reach the summer pool stage.