New Boat Ramp on Barren River Lake

By: Ashley Davidson
By: Ashley Davidson

In the last several years Barren River Lake has attracted more tourists. While it's great for the park and businesses in the area, it does have a down side. More tourists mean more traffic. Sometimes leading to overcrowding on the boat ramps, with lengthy wait times. Now there's a new boat ramp planned for the lake.

For eleven years Ranger Bob's has sold bait and tackle to fishermen on Barren River Lake.

Gary Morrison says: "It's going to be a blessing for everybody on the lake."

Morrison owns Ranger Bob's and says he is thrilled about a new boat ramp that will be built on the Lake near his shop.

Morrison says: "Facilities here on the lake were really good back when the lake was built. But with modern day boats and trucks and trailers, facilities here are just too small."

Allen County Judge Executive, Johnny Hobdy, approached Senator Mitch McConnell and Congressman Ed Whitfield about two years ago about the project.

Hobdy says: "Five hundred and eighty five thousand is what we've been appropriated for this year. And we're hoping that will at least lay the groundwork for what we're trying to do."

If all goes as planned with the new boat ramp, people could be out on the waters as early as the end of this year. The new ramp will be on a 27 acre track of land off Highway 252.

Construction is already under way starting with a gravel entry way. The first phase of the project will have a gravel road and parking lot with 100 spaces. More than the nearby Peninsula boat ramp.

Morrison says: "Parking is only 60-70 spaces and you get 100 people tournament and it's overcrowded. Then throw in the pleasure boaters and add those (nods)."

Phase two would create even more parking and cost an estimated 700-thousand dollars.

The third phase is still about three years down the road and would include picnic areas and hiking and biking trails.

Morrison says he believes Ranger Bob's will pick up a lot of business from the new ramp.

Morrison says: "We're ready for it. Really? Plans are in the works."

Judge Hobdy says the Army Corps of Engineers is hoping to begin clearing the trees off the lot and building the road in March. Morrison says he plans to add more parking and maybe install new gas pumps, to accommodate the expected increase in customers.


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