Barren River Lake State Resort Park, near Lucas, will give nature lovers a chance to view sandhill cranes during Nature Watch Weekends for Sandhill Cranes which are scheduled for January 25-27 and again on February 8-10.
Each year thousands of sandhill cranes make Barren River Lake a stop as they congregate in huge numbers to migrate. The lake’s exposed mud flats in winter provide the birds with a perfect spot to rest and socialize and ample farmlands offer an abundance of food.
Sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis) are tall, gray birds reaching eights up to four feet, weighing up to twelve pounds, and with a wingspan of six to seven feet. The birds have two distinct features that distinguish them from other large, migratory birds. Sandhill cranes have a crimson, red-crowned forehead, white cheeks, and a fluffy rear end. The other unique attribute is noticed in flight as these birds have long, dark legs that trail behind and a long neck that is kept straight out rather than tucked in towards the body like other birds.
Wayne Tamminga, a wildlife biologist with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, will conduct Friday evening educational sessions beginning at 7:00 p.m. Tours will be by van and participants will have a choice of Saturday sunrise, Saturday sunset, or Sunday sunrise.
The fee for the Nature Watch Weekends for Sandhill Cranes is $30.00 per adult and $18.00 per child ages 8-12 (children must be eight years old to go on the van tours). The fee includes all educational sessions, a box lunch, a tee shirt, and the van tour.
Barren River Lake is offering a special lodge room rate of $49.95 per night for those registered for this event.
For more information about Nature Watch Weekends for Sandhill Cranes or to make a lodging reservation, call the park at (800) 325-0057.
Established as a state park in 1965, Barren River Lake State Resort Park facilities include a 51-room lodge overlooking a beautiful 10,000-acre lake, 22 cottages each with two bedrooms and two baths, campgrounds, and the Driftwood Restaurant, also with views of the lake.
The park also offers meeting rooms, boating, fishing, golf, hiking and biking trails, horse stables, tennis courts, swimming, and picnic shelters.
Barren River Lake is less than 100 miles from Metro Louisville. From Louisville, take I-65 south to the Cumberland Parkway, east on the parkway to US-31E, and then south to the park. For complete and detailed directions, use Google Maps.
Barren River Lake State Resort Park
1149 State Park Road
Lucas, KY 42156
Telephone: (800) 325-0057 or (270) 646-2151