This season, the department has already gotten a little help from mild temperatures. Its real ace in the hole, however, is slightly unorthodox — a yacht.
It is a new addition to a three-decade tradition in Kentucky’s parks — Eagle Weekends — in which visitors get relatively up close to America’s national symbol, the bald eagle.
This weekend Lake Barkley State Resort Park is hosting a variety of eagle tours by yacht and van. Van tours are $20, tours by yacht are $40. However, the park is reporting that only the Saturday morning (8:00 a.m.) yacht tour has spots available. The CQ Princess is docked about a half-hour away at Kenlake.
Lake Barkley is also hosting a naturalist at the lodge Saturday, Jan. 28 for an up-close and person eagle presentation. For more information, call the park at 270-924-1131.
The CQ Princess will again be docked at Kenlake the following weekend, for a variety of tours on Feb. 4 and 5. Kenlake will also host eagle-watching tours into Land Between the Lakes by van.
The tours are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Those interested in a yacht tour are especially encouraged to reserve a spot by calling the park at 270-474-2211.
Tours from Kenlake depart at 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4 and at 8:00 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 5. All tours are $40.
The Kentucky Parts Department recently invited local media to take a scouting trip aboard the CQ Princess.
First, no matter what the weather may do, there is no need to bundle up, as passengers can put their eagle eye to use from inside the ship’s comfortable quarters. Two stories of the yacht feature panoramic glass windows, and there is an observation deck at the ship’s bow.
If you must pick between bringing a pair of binoculars or a camera, go with binoculars — barring an eagle landing on the yacht, a super-telephoto (with a range of at least 400 meters) lens is an absolute must to get a decent photograph of the graceful creatures.
For the rest of this story, please see this week's edition of The Cadiz Record.