Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area offers an escape to Murray State students a mere 30 minutes from Murray State’s campus.
Spring began on March 20 and LBL has more than enough land to explore and nature-oriented events to offer to the western Kentucky community.
The national recreation area runs more than 170,000 acres and is extremely proactive in providing programs for students and families.
LBL hosts approximately 10 activities or programs each day, including classes like “Wool Work,” in which visitors learn to spin sheep wool into yarn, and a wide variety of planetarium shows.
“Animal Encounters” is another recurring event where visitors can intermingle up close and personally with bald eagles, bobcats or snakes.
If students opt to observe the wildlife instead of interacting, they can stay in their vehicles and visit the Elk & Bison Prairie that’s open from sunup to sundown year round. It costs $5 per vehicle.
On the flip side, if students want more vigorous options than Murray’s running loop, LBL boasts more than 500 miles of trails, riding stables and canoe and kayak seasonal rentals. Rocking U Riding Stables opens Friday, weather permitting, and canoe and kayak rental season information can be found on the LBL website. Stable information can only be obtained by calling the location.
Canoe and kayak rentals cost $10 per hour per vessel and require a $10 deposit; paddles and life jackets are included.
For student fishermen, the 38th Annual Special Population Fishing Tournament will be held May 16 at Honker Lake.
The tournament is held to develop fishing skills of disabled children and adults of all ages. Contestants must fish from the bank only, and the heaviest string of fish will win. There is no charge to enter.
Options that last into the summer months, when entertainment is hard to find, are the Laser Light Music Shows and Star Parties that are held from June until August.
The laser shows are Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at two different show times, and the Star Parties are held twice a month.
Story by Kayla MacAllister, Staff writer