Salato Center opens for 2024 season

Published 11:09 am Thursday, March 14, 2024

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The Salato Wildlife Education Center in Frankfort is open for the 2024 season.

Visitors can explore Kentucky’s diverse ecosystems and learn all about the commonwealth’s wildlife. 

In the final stages of completion is a new immersive indoor exhibit, “Healthy Hunting Grounds.” The exhibit sheds light on the vital role that hunting plays in the health of Kentucky’s ecosystems and the well-being of its people. This exhibit aims not only to inform but also to inspire cultural support for hunting as an essential component of wildlife conservation and human health. The exhibit will open this spring.

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“Visitors will be greeted by a dynamic oak tree staged with light and film to convey leaves as they change color with the seasons,” said Jules Foster, manager of the center. “You can go inside a duck hunting blind to hear calls of waterfowl, practice tree stand safety, explore a media table to delve deeper into the subject matter, vote on your favorite painting by staff wildlife artist Rick Hill, and hear inspiring personal stories from the field.”

Operating hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (ET). Salato is closed on Sundays, Mondays and state holidays.

Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for youths aged 5 to 17. Children 4 and under receive free admission with an accompanying adult. Admission may be purchased at the door or on the Salato reservations portal up to 31 days in advance.

For those eager to make Salato a regular stop, annual memberships offer unlimited admission to the center during regular operating hours. Three membership levels are available, including an individual membership for $20, family membership (for two adults and up to five children) for $35, and the friend membership (for two adults, up to five children or grandchildren, and five additional guests) for $50.

“Since they are good for one year from the date of purchase, you can unlock a year’s worth of savings and discovery,” Foster explains. “Plus, they make excellent gifts!”

With a variety of educational programs to learn about Kentucky wildlife, the Salato Center is a popular field trip destination for schools. Educators can host a school group visit or utilize the center’s online resources for virtual learning programs.

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources operates the center to educate the public about native wildlife, conservation efforts, and hunting and fishing opportunities in the commonwealth. Located off U.S. 60 at the main Kentucky Fish and Wildlife campus in Frankfort, the center also offers fishing lakes, hiking trails and scenic picnic spots, including rentable covered shelters.

While Salato maintains seasonal hours, the rest of the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife headquarters campus is open daily from sunrise to sunset.