Axe Lake Swamp State Nature Preserve
|Axe Lake Swamp State Nature Preserve|
|Location||Ballard County, Kentucky, United States|
|Nearest city||Barlow, Kentucky|
|Area||458 acres (185 ha)|
|Created||February 20, 1991|
Axe Lake Swamp State Nature Preserve is a 458-acre (1.9 km2) nature reserve located near Barlow, Kentucky in Ballard County in an area known locally as "the Barlow bottoms", a wetland created by periodic flooding along the mouth of the Ohio River. Originally, Axe Lake consisted of 146 acres (0.6 km2) of the main lake and about 120 lots on the dryer portions of the property. These lots, the gate and an access road were maintained by a member/share-holder organization which agreed to the lake's dedication as a nature reserve on February 20, 1991. An additional 312 acres (1.3 km2) was dedicated on December 11, 2001.
The Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission with assistance from The Nature Conservancy have identified Axe Lake as the centerpiece of an expanded long-term project to protect 3,000 acres (12 km²) of bald cypress-tupelo swamp lands which is to be called the Axe Lake Swamp wetlands complex. This cypress-tupelo swamp is the best example of a large intact cypress-tupelo swamp in Kentucky. This protected area is known to support at least eight rare plant and animal species. The site has been recognized as a priority wetland in the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. Written permission is required for access to the preserve.
Wetlands species of interest:
- Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum)
- Great blue heron (Ardea herodias)
- Great egret (Casmerodius albus)
- Wood duck (Aix sponsa)
- "Axe Lake Swamp State Nature Preserve". Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission. Retrieved January 20, 2015.
- "State Nature Preserves & State Natural Areas Directory" (PDF). Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission. March 2011: 6. Retrieved January 20, 2015.