The Tennessee River flows through western Kentucky before joining the Ohio River near Paducah. The placement of Tennessee Valley Authority's Kentucky Dam on the Tennessee River (Kentucky Lake) and the Corps' Barkley Dam on the Cumberland River (Lake Cumberland) directly led to the creation of Land Between the Lakes.
A free-flowing canal located at Grand Rivers links Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley. The canal allows for a shorter trip for river traffic going from the Tennessee to most of the Ohio River, and for traffic going down the Cumberland River toward the Mississippi.
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