Canal Loop Trail is an 11-mile singletrack loop trail with four connectors that consist of another three miles of trail. It offers a variety of loops ranging from a little over 1-mile to the full 11-mile outer loop. Canal Loop Trail can be accessed from the North Welcome Station and Kentucky Lake Scenic Drive. Canal Loop Trail receives a very high amount of use on weekends by mountain bikers and hikers, and offers many scenic overlooks of Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley, and the Canal.
From the visitor's center, head across the road to begin the trail. The first four to five miles travel easily along the lakeshore. The difficulty increases slightly after you pass under the canal bridge. There are a few rougher section and some steeper climbs on the western half of the trail.