McConnell Celebrates New Barren River Boat Ramp

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Members of the Allen County Chamber of Commerce, Barren River State Resort officials and Senator Mitch McConnell dedicate a new boat ramp on Barren River Lake.

Up until recently, if you went boating on Barren River Lake, you crossed the Allen County line over into Barren County to do it.

Now, Allen County is hoping that their own four-lane boat ramp on the lake will jump-start a new world of opportunities for the county.

Welcome to Port Oliver Recreational Area.

It's what many in Allen County have been waiting a long time for.

"It's a pretty exciting day for a county that could have used more excitement over the years," admitted Senator Mitch McConnell.

Despite the lower water levels due to the drought, spirits are high for this new recreational area.

"This is the deepest area of the lake and it has year-round water as we hoped it would be. It's a great example to show how this facility is actually going to be able to have water year-round--even
in the worst drought season," explained Janet Johnson, with Allen County Tourism.

Allen County does have Walnut Creek Boat Ramp and Bailey's Point Recreational Area, but the new recreational area will solve problems such as overcrowding at other facilities during holiday.

"Prior to our recreation area being constructed, we had severe congestion problems on our other projects, Peninsula Ramp and Bailey's Point," said Kevin Savilla, with the Barren River State Park.

But the additional room for parking and docking boats should change that.

"Since the Fourth of July holiday, we didn't have nearly the amount of congestion we usually see on a holiday weekend," Savilla added.

The buzz about the new dock isn't contained within county borders, but it's also about the big tourism picture.

"Fishing tournaments, tourism and boating--all of that is going to be made more possible as a result of this great project in Allen County," McConnell said.

"We can now use the Port Oliver facility to entice recreationists from around the county to be able to access the inviting scenery of Allen County," Johnson assured.

The project is only halfway completed.

In the next couple of years, you can expect to see an amphitheater added on as well as cross-country bike trails.

To learn more about the recreation area, click here and visit our Port Oliver Recreation Area link.

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