Rough road to improve roads to Ballard County Bottoms
BALLARD COUNTY, Ky. —
If you have a family, summer’s a great time to get everyone together for a trip. A budding tourism group hopes you’ll consider visiting 16,000 acres of scenery, and it’s only a short drive away.
With fishing, hiking, biking, kayaking and camping, the Ballard Bottoms Tourism Council says there’s something for everyone who likes the outdoors. But getting there is a problem.
Ballard County Bottoms Tourism Council President Matt Haney says the journey is part of the adventure. He says more people could enjoy the swamps, trails, and turtles if they had easier access.
“A lot of the roads here are pretty inaccessible for even a car. Even a small SUV or truck, you have to have a fairly big truck,” Haney says.
Haney says filling in the holes on the road to the bottoms is deeply personal. He visited the bottoms frequently in his childhood, and believes it should be for everyone, not just lifetime locals like Brandee Myatt.
“I hold more childhood memories in these river bottoms than anywhere else I’ve ever been,” Haney says.
Myatt says the bottoms are one of the only resources, both educational and recreational, Ballard county has to offer her family. “We get to see a lot of wildlife,” Myatt says. “You see a lot of otters, a lot of beavers, see the eagle on a regular basis.”
But updating a swamp everyone used to come see in the summer, Haney says, will be a bumpy road. “This hasn’t happened overnight, and it’s not going to be fixed overnight, but we’re gonna’ get it fixed.” he says.
The Tourism Council hopes the improvements, along with promotion, will eventually turn swampland into a family destination. Part of their efforts include applying for grants to supplement what the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Department already spends on the area.