|   Rate it:

Level: Intermediate
Length: 12 mi (19.3 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +1,188/ -772 ft
Total: 133 riders

Mountain Biking Canal Loop

*****   Add a review
#5 of 108 mountain bike trails in Kentucky
#799 in the world

This is a great trail for beginners and advanced riders. The trail is a loop. If ridden counter clockwise the first 6 miles is on the lake Barkley side and it is fast singletrack with a couple of climbs that will get your heartrate up. The second half of the trail which is about 5.5 miles is more demanding and has a few more climbs and downhills. This side of the trail is the Kentucky lake side. Toward the end of the loop on the Kentucky lake side the North/South trail comes in. You must stay left at this point. If you go right the trail extends 30 miles to the Golden Pond visitor center. This is a good trail also but if you do not know the way it is easy to loose the trail in a few spots where the trail is connected by gravel roads or fields. The guys at Wood-N-Wave bike shop can help with these directions and they usually have trail maps there as well. I highly recommend this trail. Food for thought: a good time for the 12 miles is under an hour and a great time is under 50 minutes.

First added by alvin.santoy on Jan 25, 2004. Last updated May 11, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
Trail is located at the north end of Land Between the Lakes (LBL). This is about five miles south once you exit off Interstate 24. The trailhead is located at the north welcome station on Trace road and it has a large paved parking lot with restrooms for changing. If you drive south on Trace road from Grand Rivers you cant miss it. Wood-n-Wave bike shop is located in Grand Rivers on Trace road and the guys there are super nice and could help with trail information.
I Rode It!   Add to another list

Canal Loop Trail map

Add to or improve this map // Share this map on your website

Local Info

Club Sponsor


Local Bike Shop

Trail checkins

Scott Lang (on Nov 20, 2022)
What's this?

Upcoming Events

Add one

Trail conditions

Fair (on Sep 22, 2019)
login to update

Camping & Lodging

Coming soon!

Canal Loop videos

Add a video
Land Between The Lakes, KY -…
These videos have been shared by members of the Singletracks community. Report inappropriate content here.

Mountain Bike Trails Near Grand Rivers, Kentucky

Intermediate | 9 mi
| 8 mi

Rider questions

Add a review



  • C-Lo

    This is the best trail I have ridden in the state so far. Well maintained and well marked for the most part (got turned around on one section). If you are in the are this is a must.

    Reply | Thank
  • Josh Smithson

    It's a good trail system. A mix of terrain. Lots of climbing and descending. Although it could use some more jump features.

    Reply | Thank
  • dana92488

    Good mix of short climbs, descents and flowy sections. Intermediate level, with a lot of exposed roots and rocks.

    Reply | Thank
  • Charlesmeadows

    Awesome trail! Had to be my favorite so far. Has a good amount of climbs and some downhill bits. I really enjoyed going down tower hill. I personally like to ride the trail counterclockwise but i see a lot of people do it either way, Its definitely worth trying out and its a good workout.

    Reply | Thank
  • Thewizard23

    A little bit of everything, nice climbs, a few excellent downhill sections, flats, well maintained trails. Follow the blue markers, there are a few connecting trails to throw you off a little. Besides that i was really impressed, a good amount of log roll overs and 2 flat top logs to ride down. Will be back

    Reply | Thank
  • oakess

    This was a great trail with lots of variety, a few fun downhills and some
    challenging climbs. Nice job whomever keeps it up! I will be back!

    Reply | Thank
  • Ronnie Collins

    Flows well. 29 Hardtail was the best choice to ride. Beginners would like it. Fast fun trail.

    Reply | Thank
  • RoadWarrior

    Trails are in fair condition after the storms, 7/10/16 note "fair"! Washed out bridge, some large trees, and damaged trail.
    But all still rideable.

    Reply | Thank
  • jbclarke5

    A great sunset ride tonight.

    Reply | Thank
  • FU Forties

    Perfect for someone like me, who's just getting back into it! Quick 45 min, quiet run with plenty of switchbacks and aggressive single track!

    Reply | Thank
  • geekonabike

    The most Water Scenery your ever gonna see this far inland.

    Reply | Thank
  • fishbone

    The Canal Loop is 11.5 miles of natural single track trail. It does not have the features that some might be used to from machine built trails. It is well maintained by the locals and is ridable most of the year. The trail is located in Land Between the Lakes and further information can be obtained from the local bike shop located in Grand Rivers. It's a great trail with awesome views.

    Reply | Thank
  • CFM   ✓ supporter

    We were traveling through this area and stopped because of the high rating. Good, fun singletrack flowing along the lakes and canal. Despite the low temp (15 degrees) and high winds we had a great ride. Didn't have time to do the entire loop so we took the #3 cutoff to shorten it a bit. The ride was a lot of fun and a great break from driving. Glad we stopped!

    Reply | Thank
  • Josh L

    Great trail with a beautiful view. If you're looking for a good trail to spend a weekend at then this could be a good option. The addition of the lake and camp grounds make this a fun time.

    Reply | Thank
  • Cotharyus

    This is a pretty sweet trail. Best trail in KY? Well, that's the rumor. If it is, I'd say KY needs better trails, because this doesn't hold a candle to some places I've ridden. That said, it IS a good trail. Lots of fun flowing sections, a few somewhat technical climbs, and great views. I led a group around it on my first ride, and didn't have any trouble following the trail, only one person in the group had been around it before and he was "following, not paying attention" so he didn't want to lead our ride.

    A couple of sections were so much fun we went back and rode them again. Take plenty of water and something to eat. If your ride it counter clockwise, you'll start looking for food about the time you get to the serious climbs.

    Reply | Thank
  • jrbelks

    We rode counterclockwise great little trails. We stopped by on our way home from NC and this was our favorite ride of the vacation!

    Reply | Thank
  • Geo Fox Scout

    intense hills on Kentucky side, but with intense hills comes amazing downhill sections. i usually ride Barkley side first. but im dead tired by the time i get to Kentucky side. so now i maybe changing up my routine. lots roots and things to hope over. Cant forget the downhill blast from the past after the radio tower.

    Reply | Thank
  • tvierra

    Ride early it's currently in freeze thaw stage.

    Reply | Thank