Florence, Exit 181, take a left onto KY 18 (Big Bone Lick State Scenic Byway) and travel 11.3 miles. Turn left into the gravel parking lot for the county horsemen's area (parking is limited). Trailhead is across KY 18.
Habitat and Trail Info: The 106 acre preserve protects a relatively undisturbed maple-oak-ash forest in Boone County. Trail access consists of 1.7 mile trail (moderate hiking). Area is suited for hiking, nature study and birdwatching. No facilities.
Wildlife Viewing Opportunities: The maturity and species composition of this woodland are attributed in part to the fact that it has never been commercially logged. It is also known for its' spring wildflower display. Migrant and nesting warblers in spring and summer.
H2 - Boone County Cliffs
From Dinsmore Woods SNP take a left on KY 18 to a right on Middle Creek Rd., 1.5 miles to gravel parking lot on left side of road. Parking is available for 5 cars or one bus.
Boone County Cliffs was dedicated as a 74 acre state nature preserve to protect the unique glacial features and four forest community types that are present.
Habitat and Trail Info: The preserve, located along a tributary to Middle Creek, is named for the 20-40 foot conglomerate cliffs that outcrop on the valley slopes. The conglomerate is composed of gravel that was deposited as glacial outwash. The trails is 2.4 miles over uneven terrain (moderate hiking). Be aware of safety hazards, steep cliffs. No facilities
Wildlife Viewing Opportunities: The geologic significance of the cliffs make this site very unique. The spring wildflower display is worth a visit.
H3 - Adair Wildlife Management Area
From Boone County Cliffs take Middle Creek Rd. to KY 18. Take a left on KY 18 to a right onto KY 338. Continue to Upper East Bend Bottom and Lower East Bend Bottom. Turn left on Big Bone Church Rd., parking behind Big Bone Baptist Church. (859) 428-2262
Habitat and Trail Info: This 631 acre area is located in Boone County. Wooded to open rolling land with some bottomland.
Wildlife Viewing Opportunities: turkey, variety of song birds, deer, squirrel, rabbit, raccoon, bobcat and a variety of reptiles.
H4 - Big Bone Lick State Park
From Adair WMA take Big Bone Church Road to KY 338. Take a left on KY 338 to Big Bone Lick SP entrance. (859) 384-3522.
Towards the end of the Ice Age from 12,000 to 20,000 years ago, giant mammoths, mastodons, ground sloth and bison roamed through mineral springs and swamps that are now grassy plains covered by trees and shrubs. During that period, great ice sheets covered the North American continent just north of the Ohio River Valley. These prehistoric animals, driven southward by the prevailing ice, were attracted to the salt and minerals found in the swamp area now known as the Big Bone Lick. Many of these prehistoric creatures became trapped and perished in the quagmire surrounding the swamps' ancient sulfur springs.
Fossilized remains of these past inhabitants provide clues about life in Kentucky thousands of years ago. The discovery of the bones in the 1700s inspired a new field of study. The scientific world recognizes Big Bone Lick as the birthplace for American Vertebrae Paleontology and offers park visitors to explore 12,000 years of history.
Facilities: Museum and interpretive trail to salt springs, ice age bog exhibit with prehistoric mammal replicas and live American bison herd. Full service campground, picnic areas with 7 acre fishing lake.
Habitat and Trail Info: 3 mile trail system accessing young woodlands, fields and savannah-like habitats.
Wildlife Viewing Opportunities: Frequent sightings of white-tailed deer, both gray and red foxes, wild turkey, red-tailed hawks, several species of woodpeckers and both woodland and meadow songbirds. Lakeshore: beaver, muskrat, red-eared slider turtles, great blue heron and kingfishers. Trout Lilies aline the trail in April.
H5 - General Butler State Resort Park
In Carrollton, from US 42 take a left onto KY 227 continue to Park entrance. Approx. 3 miles N of I-71. (502) 732-4384.
This hilltop state park near the confluence of the Ohio and Kentucky Rivers is a tribute to one of Kentucky's foremost military families. Named for General William Orlando Butler, the military fame of the Butler family spans from American Revolution through the Civil War. Experience some of the area's natural beauty and river town charm at this state park located atop the bluffs of the Ohio River.
Facilities: Lodge and dining room, cottages, full-service campground, picnicking, hiking, 30-acre fishing lake. Year-round recreational programs and special events.
Habitat and Trail Info: Approx. 5 miles of hiking trails open to the public. Trails traverse steep, sloped, wooded hillsides. Dominant tree species include sugar maple, white ash, beech and tulip tree.
Wildlife Viewing Opportunities: Proximity of the park to two major rivers makes it an excellent birding location. Esp. for neotropical migrants such as warblers, Baltimore orioles, brown thrasher and yellow-billed cuckoo. Small mammals such as gray and fox squirrels, groundhogs, opossums, raccoons, gray and red fox are abundant. Turtles and other amphibians are common around the lake.
H6 - Caperton Swamp
From General Butler SP take KY 227 S. to I-71 S to Louisville. Take Exit 2, right on Zorn Ave. N for 0.2 miles. Right on River Rd. East for 1.3 miles to gravel parking lot.
Habitat and Trail Info: Spring and fall offer opportunities for viewing songbirds and waterfowl on this hidden pond and wetland area. Grassland margin surrounds the site. Pond can be dry during summer months when rainfall decreases. 400 yd. trail from parking lot to pond and wetland. Parking and restrooms available at Cox's Park.
Wildlife Viewing Opportunities: Viewing spring through fall is moderate to high. Wood ducks, mallards, blue-winged teal, killdeer, common yellowthroat, orchard oriole, 20 warbler species have been observed during spring and fall migration. Nesting area for the red-shouldered hawks and prothonotary warblers. Rabbits, raccon and deer and abundant. Cox's Park is located across River Road from Caperton Swamp. Take precautions crossing the road to view grebes, common loons and gulls on the Ohio River.
H7 - Louisville River Front Park
Contains Great Lawn for games and concerts, Festival Plaza for special events, Children's Play Area and a sculpted Linear Park with picnic areas, groves of trees, walking paths.
Habitat and Trail Info: 55 acres between the Clark and Kennedy bridges overlooks the Ohio River containing three trails along the waterfront that provide excellent views up and down the river.
Wildlife Viewing Opportunities: View the Peregrine Falcons over the river as they fly between the bridges. A pair of nesting peregrines have residency and have successfully raised young on the bridgework. View wading birds, great blue herons, spotted sandpipers grebes, gulls, common loons, mallards & Canada geese.