Community & Economic Development
Ballard County Chamber of Commerce
Myra Hook, Director Phone: 270-665-8277
Ballard County Wildlife Management
The Ballard and Boatwright Wildlife Management Areas located here are owned and operated by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. The areas are in the Mississippi River floodplain along the Ohio River.
Ballard WMA contains 8,200 acres and Boatwright WMA contains 8,000 acres. Boatwright WMA includes Swan Lake, which is the state's largest natural lake. Both areas contain bottomland hardwoods, interspersed with numerous oxbow lakes, tupelo and cypress tree swamps and agricultural fields.
The areas provide wintering habitat for migratory waterfowl and a rich ecosystem for wildlife diversity. There are 30 miles of all-weather gravel roads throughout both areas.
Ballard WMA and portions of Boatwright WMA annually are closed to the public from Oct. 15 to March 15. There is a two-mile driving loop on Ballard that is open year-round, along with an elevated viewing plat-form and walkway, with a half-mile interpretive trail.
The areas contain wintering and nesting bald eagles, deer, wild turkey, furbearers, dove, and water-fowl, along with numerous non-game species. There are special regulations for waterfowl and deer hunting. Maps and information are available at WMA office near Bandana, which is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Central Time. The number is 270-224-2244.
A Native American village once occupied the site of Wickliffe Mounds, about A.D. 1100 to 1350, where people of the Mississippian culture built their ceremonial mounds and permanent houses on a bluff over-looking the Mississippi River.
In the 1930s, Col. Fain King, private owner of the site, excavated the mounds and opened it as a tourist attraction. Since then, the site has been a popular destination for visitors traveling through Ballard County.
Archaeological research over the last 20 years has revealed fascinating information about this important Mississippian site. Operated by the Kentucky Department of Parks, Wickliffe Mounds is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and a Kentucky Archaeological Landmark.
Museum exhibits interpret the Mississippian culture, the history of the site and the science of archaeology. Visitors can see the excavated mounds and archaeological Woods Walk; view a mural scene of the prehistoric village; and speak with on-site interpreters.
Please call for park hours of operation, tours, special events and admission fees. Wickliffe Mounds is located at 94 Green Street, US Highways 51/60/62 West, Wickliffe, Kentucky, (270) 335-3681.