Your day trip in Tennessee begins in Dover, TN and then crosses the Kentucky border to visit Land Between the Lakes National Recreational Area. This has been one of our more enjoyable day trips, so be prepared for some fun, walking, and learning!

Travel 150 years into the past at The Homeplace

Begin your day trip in Dover, TN at The Homeplace located at 4512 The Trace. Admission to this historic farm is $7 where you step back in time to see an 1850’s working farm in action. Visit them online before going to view their rates, hours, and activities. You’ll feel like you traveled in a time machine as you see and experience the life style of a working farm from 150+ years ago.

After leaving The Homeplace, head across the border into Kentucky for a scenic 15-minute drive to the Land Between the Lakes Visitor Center located at 238 Visitor Center Drive in Golden Pond, KY. The visitor center also has a planetarium with shows occurring almost every hour. You can check them out online for a list of shows and times. While we didn’t stay for a planetarium show (we had our sights set on other activities), the staff was very friendly and offered recommendations when asked about good trails to hike.

Drive through an Elk & Bison Prairie

Just a short 2-minute drive from the Visitor Center is the Elk & Bison Prairie. The cost is $5 per vehicle for a relaxing 3.5 mile loop through an elk, bison, and wildlife sanctuary. We drove through in the heat of the day and saw plenty of bison, turkey, butterflies, wildflowers, but no elk. A cooler time of day may have been for better viewing. Check out their Bison Fact Sheet for seasonal viewing tips.

Experience the Woodlands Nature Center

Next we took a 20-minute drive to the Woodlands Nature Center at 3146 Silver Trail Road in Cadiz, KY. We really enjoyed this stop. The cost is $7 to walk through their outdoor nature trail to view their rescued animals. You can see a bobcat, coyote, eagles, wolves, owls, deer, and so much more up close. The staff is very informative and available to answer questions. We opted to attend their outdoor presentation called “Secrets of Attracting Hummingbirds”. More than 250 hummingbirds darted around us as staff shared information on how to attract more hummingbirds into your own backyard.

A hiking we will go!

Next we took a 2.2 mile hike around Hematite Lake. The lake trail is located .3 miles from the Nature Center, so you can squeeze in a hike and return to the Nature Center if there was a presentation you wanted to attend. The moderate hiking trail encircles the 83-acre Hematite Lake with wooden boardwalks and bridges over the marshy areas. You may want to pack bug spray, although I only got bit once.

Travel back in time for a delicious 1880’s meal

Since we were out this way, we wanted to check out Lighthouse Landing, 320 W. Commerce Ave in Grand Rivers, KY to see their lighthouse and marina and for a photo op. The marina is located right around the corner from Patti’s 1880’s Settlement, 1793 J H O’Bryan Ave in Grand Rivers, KY, where we continued our travel back in time experience with a delicious meal. The portions are huge and we left completely full.

After your meal at Patti’s 1880’s Settlement, walk around their property, stop in the shops, and you may want to leave with one of their delicious bakery items.

Visit our Tips page to see how you an plan your own day trip in Tennessee and elsewhere

We would love to hear about your day trip adventure. Please leave a comment below and share your discoveries at Land Between the Lakes. If you would like to contact us directly, please email us at

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