Land Between The Lakes
National Recreation Area
100 Van Morgan Drive
Golden Pond, KY 42211

Phone: 270-924-2000
Toll Free: 800-525-7077

Permits and Passes
Home > Permits and Passes



LBL PASSES ~ Since LBL does not have standard amenity fees or an entry fee to the National Recreation Area, the America the Beautiful-National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual and Volunteer Passes are not honored. However, we do honor the Access and Senior Passes, as well as the Military Pass.

Access and Senior Passes are honored for 50% off basic campsite (no hook-ups.) The card holder must be camped on the discounted campsite to be eligible for the discount. We do not discount camping shelters, horse stalls and other special recreation permits, including but not limited to, off-highway vehicle permits, horse trailer permits, Backcountry Camping Permits, Hunter Use Permits, or Elk & Bison Prairie entry with any of the passes. The Military Pass may not be used for camping discounts.

With the Access and Senior Passes, we offer a 50% discount to the card holder for general admission to The Homeplace, Nature Station, and Golden Pond Planetarium. The Military Pass provides active duty military service members or their spouse and three other individuals free general admission to The Homeplace, Nature Station and Golden Pond Planetarium (excludes special events).

Click HERE for information on Golden Age Passports, Senior Passes, Golden Access Passports, and Access Passes use at Land Between The Lakes.

2014 Update ~ Active duty service men and women and their dependents – Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard and Reserves – can obtain the new military version of the National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Annual Pass. The Military Pass is available at Golden Pond Visitor Center, The Homeplace, Woodlands Nature Station, and North & South Welcome Stations. Current active duty military or active duty dependent identification is required for the pass and may be required when the Military Pass is used. LBL accepts the new Military Pass, Monday through Friday only, at The Homeplace, Golden Pond Planetarium, and Woodlands Nature Station. It will admit the pass holder plus three other individuals free of charge to these facilities. Free admission will not be granted on Saturday and Sunday or during any special event by using the Military Pass. While the Military Pass is only available to active duty military personnel, many veterans and retirees are eligible for other discounted passes, such as the Senior Pass, granting discounted access to U.S. citizens over 62 for $10, and the Access Pass granting discounted access for permanently disabled U.S. citizens.



LBL FIREWOOD PERMITS OFFERED YEAR-ROUND ~ Personal and commercial use firewood permits are available year-round. Please call 270-924-2000 before you plan to come to LBL for a firewood permit. Permits must be obtained at the LBL Administrative Office, Mon.-Fri., 8am-4:30pm. Authorization for removal is for dead and downed trees only. Firewood can be removed anywhere on LBL except in timber sale areas, designated recreation areas, cemeteries, or along major roads such as US68/KY80 and The Trace. Users are encouraged to take advantage of easily accessible ice storm debris piles along roadways.

Various groups and individuals often approach the Forest Service with requests to use national forest lands for an array of diverse activities. In the interest of protecting our natural resources, the Forest Service must always determine whether the proposed use is compatible with its mission and values.

For Hunter Use Permits, Backcountry Camping Permits, and other applicable fees and passes, click here.


Recreation Events

Any recreation event held at Land Between The Lakes (LBL) National Recreation Area that charges a fee or any commercial operation requires a Special Use Permit (for example: bike races, trail rides, rodeos, etc.). Please contact the LBL Administrative Office at 270-924-2000 or by email at to find out if your event requires a Special Use Permit, or for information on obtaining a permit.

Applicants for Special Use Permits should note that the permitting process can be time-consuming, may require multi-step National Forest Management Act analysis and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documentation, and ultimately may not be approved. The Forest Service will evaluate Special Use applicants to determine if they comply with public interest.

At a minimum, these proposals should be consistent with Area Plan management objectives, standards, and desired future conditions; and be consistent with other applicable Federal, State, and local statutes and regulations. Most permits require at least 90 days for processing.

What are noncommercial group uses?

Noncommercial group uses are any activity conducted on National Forest Service lands involving 75 or more people, either as participants or spectators, in which (a) no entry or participation fee is charged, and (b) the primary purpose of the activity is not the sale of a good or service. Examples of noncommercial activities include club or family recreation outings, reunions, and weddings. No permit fee, bonding, or insurance is required for noncommercial group uses. The permit holder is responsible for camping fees.

Who needs a Special Use Permit?

A Special Use Permit is required for all noncommercial group uses involving more than 75 people, or utilization of an area that is not commonly used for the proposed activity.

What is the policy for weddings at LBL?

Noncommercial Special Use Permits are required for weddings at LBL if the following criteria are found:

  • There are more the 75 people attending the wedding.
  • There is a catered meal.
  • There is music (live or recorded) for the event. Note: The policy for 75+ group members and live or recorded music does not apply to any wedding held at Colson Hollow Group Camp.
  • No weddings can be held at The Homeplace, Woodlands Nature Station, Stephen's Church, or Golden Pond Planetarium.
  • Weddings may be held at the pavilions at The Homeplace, Woodlands Nature Station, and Golden Pond Visitor Center, but only with coordination of the facility manager.
  • Weddings may be held at Wranglers, Hillman Ferry, Energy Lake, and Piney campgrounds with coordination with the facility manager.

How do I apply?

You may apply for a Special Use Permit by contacting LBL's Administrative Office at 270-924-2000, or by email at . You must complete an application providing (1) the applicant's name and mailing address; (2) if the applicant is an organization, and the name of an individual authorized to receive notice of the decision on the application; (3) a description of the activity; (4) the location and description of the NFS lands and facilities you would like to use; (5) the estimated number of participants and spectators; (6) the starting and ending date and time of the activity; and (7) the name of the person (or persons) 21 years of age or older who will sign the permit on behalf of the applicant. The application must be received by the Administrative Office at least 72 hours in advance of your activity.

How long will it take to get a permit?

All applications for noncommercial group uses will be approved unless denied within 48 hours of receipt. If your application is approved, a permit will be issued prior to the start of your activity.

What will the Forest Service consider in evaluating my application?

Applications will be approved if they meet the following 8 evaluation criteria (for details on the 8 criteria, particularly on criteria 5 and 6, review the Code of Federal Regulations at 36 CFR 251.54 (h)(1)):

  1. Authorization of the activity is not prohibited by rules or orders that apply to the national forests, or by federal, state, or local law related to the content of activity.
  2. Authorization of the activity is consistent or can be made consistent with standards and guidelines in the Area Plan that apply to the area where the activity will take place.
  3. The activity does not materially impact the characteristics or functions of environmentally sensitive resources or lands.
  4. The activity will not delay, halt, or prevent administrative use of an area by the Forest Service or other scheduled or existing activities on NFS lands.
  5. The activity does not violate state and local public health laws and regulations applicable to the site proposed for the activity.
  6. The activity will not pose a substantial danger to public safety.
  7. The activity does not involve military or paramilitary training or exercises by private organizations or individuals, unless such training or exercises are federally funded.
  8. A person (or persons) 21 years of age or older has been designated to sign and will sign a permit on behalf of the applicant.

If your application is denied and an alternative time, place, or manner will allow you to meet all the evaluation criteria, the Forest Service will offer that alternative.

Research Special Use Permits

Any research activities or collection for research of plants or animals found on LBL requires a Special Use Permit. Any application for a Special Use Permit for research must include a research proposal for review. The Applicant must also obtain the proper state collection permits.


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