Dedicated Feb. 20, 1991, Axe Lake Swamp State Nature Preserve is located in Ballard County. Originally 146 acres in extent, an additional 312 acres was dedicated on December 11, 2001, increasing the size of the preserve to 458 acres. This preserve was acquired with the assistance of The Nature Conservancy and the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund and represents the first steps for the commission in assisting with the long-term protection of the entire 3,000-acre Axe Lake Swamp wetlands complex which supports at least eight rare plant and animal species.
Axe Lake Swamp State Nature Preserve protects a portion of Kentucky's best known example of a large, intact bald cypress-tupelo swamp. The 3,000-acre wetland harbors the state's most significant nesting population of Brown creepers (Certhia americana) and is home to at least three rare species of bats, Evening bat (Nycticeius humeralis), Southeastern myotis (Myotis austroriparius) and Rafinesque's big-eared bat (Corynorhinus rafinesquii). The swamp also is utilized seasonally by large numbers of migratory waterfowl, and it has been recognized as a priority wetland in the North American Waterfowl Management Plan.
Access is by written permission only.