Slag Pond in Muhlenberg County
- The "Slag Pond" is located near the Paradise Steam Plant in the former
town of Paradise, KY. This is part of the Peabody
Wildlife Management area and a permit is required to enter. While there
is no official check stand or entrance, entry without a permit can result
in a significant fine. To reach the areatravel on the Western Kentucky
Parkway to exit 58 on the south side of Central City (US 431). Turn south
on US 431 and follow it app. 7 miles to the small community of Drakesboro.
There is one stoplight in Drakesboro (The Pantry, a convenience store,
is on the NW corner of this intersection). Turn left (east) at the stoplight
on KY 176 and follow this road 3 - 4 miles. Enter the WMA and see a long,
narrow lake on your right. Watch the right side of the road for a "haul
road" at the end of the lake. Turn right on the haul road which immediately
forms a "T" intersection. Turn left at the "T" and follow that haul road
until you approach the steam plant (1 - 2 miles). You'll find an intersection
with an impounded pond on the right. Crossing the intersection would result
in crossing several railroad tracks (may be blocked by trains) and entering
the steam plant complex. You will turn right at this intersection. This
is a haul road/public road known as Riverside Ch. Road. Follow this road
a short distance until a conveyer associated with the steam plant crosses
the road overhead. Immediately after crossing under the conveyer, you will
see 2 "cinder" roads to the right. Take the second right (more of a "y"
to the right than a right turn). This "cinder" lane veers left and travels
parallel and above the Riverside Ch. Road for about 0.25 miles then curves
sharply right, continues about 0.1 mile, then veers sharply right again.
Phragmites sp. is growing on the right between you and the slag pond. After
the second sharp right, look for a "cinder lane" that bisects the slag
pond into 2 sections, a small one (1st) and a second one (2nd). STOP HERE
AND PULL ONTO THE CINDER LANE THAT BISECTS THE POND. All the shorebirds
are on the second part of the pond. There will be a break in the Phragmites
in about 100 feet. From this point you may scan nearly the entire pond
(light is better in the morning). Return to the original cinder lane that
runs along the edge of the pond. Drive a short distance looking for breaks
in the Phragmites. You should find at least 2 breaks that allow viewing.
Stop at each location and scan. Continue a bit further to an old parking
area. You may scan part of the pond from here. These are the only locations
to view the pond. DO NOT ENTER THE POND BASIN ITSELF. At the parking area
you have 2 choices: turning around a retracing your path or taking a sharp
left onto another "cinder" road that runs between the Slag pond and a fishing
lake. (The fishing lake should also be scanned for terns, gulls, Osprey,
cormorants, and waterfowl.) The lower road that runs between the slag pond
and the fishing lake becomes a gravel road and returns to Riverside Ch..
Road. (At this point, you will see large mounds of coal ash or slag just
in front of you. Bank Swallows nest in these mounds). Turn left on Riverside
Ch. Road and return to the steam plant area. When you cross under the conveyer
again, retrace these directions to exit the area.