Grant County | Ark attraction brings thousands to quiet town

Noah’s Ark at the Ark Encounter attracts thousands of visitors annually to Williamstown.

Grant County is the southernmost county within Northern Kentucky. It was established in 1820 and named for Col. John Grant, a frontiersman and nephew of Daniel Boone. With its easy access by I-75 and U.S. 25 and by rail, Grant County has brought in millions of visitors in the past three years, thanks to the Ark Encounter in Williamstown.

In 2019, the attraction added a 2,500-seat auditorium with a 70-foot long LED screen on the stage for presentations and performances, and a new family play area designed for children of all abilities that has a tower with slides, a climbing hill, a rainbow maze and other fun features. The Ararat Ridge Zoo behind the 510-foot long Noah’s ark is now double in size.

Grant County residents and their guests have other tourist attractions, including public lakes in Corinth, Crittenden, Dry Ridge and Williamstown. During the Memorial Day weekend in 2019, Patriots Landing opened at the Dry Ridge Outlet Center. The military museum showcases historical military displays and products crafted by veterans. It is operated by Operation Honor, a nonprofit organization based in Owenton, Ky., that works with veterans who craft burial flag cases by hand.

Grant County

Estimated 2020 population: 25,121

Households: 8,637

Median household income: $43,881

County seat: Williamstown, Mayor Rick Skinner,

Judge/Executive: Chuck Dills,

Chamber of Commerce: Grant County Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development,

Economic Development Authority: Grant County Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development,