J1 - Fort Boonesborough
From I-75 at Exit 95 take Hwy 627 for approximately 5 miles. 15 miles south of Lexington. (859) 527-3131
Fort Boonesborough State Park is the site of Boonesborough, established in 1775 by Richard Henderson and Daniel Boone of the Transylvania Company. Boonesborough remained a stopping point and trade center on the Kentucky River for the next 51 years. Today, Fort Boonesborough has been reconstructed as a working fort complete with blockhouses, cabins and period furnishings. Resident artisans perform pioneer craft demonstrations on 18th-century antiques and impart pioneer experiences to modern-day visitors. The new Kentucky River Museum embraces two restored lock-houses and other buildings. It is the story of the development of commerce on the river.
Habitat and Trail Info: Small trail system through some of the wooded hillsides in the park. Stroll through the park grounds along the banks of the Kentucky River. Great spring wildflower viewing. Dwarf larkspur, wild ginger, Solomon's seal, violets, wild geranium and phlox.
Wildlife Viewing Opportunities: Great opportunity to observe spring and fall migrating songbirds, such as blue-winged and other warbler species, swallows and migrating waterfowl. There are frequent sightings of other aquatic loving creatures like beaver, muskrat and kingfishers. Abundant sightings of small mammals and deer.
J2 Raven Run Nature Sanctuary
From Fort Boonesborough go back to I-75 South. Exit on Exit 90. Take right onto US 25 (West Main Street) to Richmond, then right on KY 169. Take 169 to Spears. From Spears take a right on KY 1975 then a right on KY 1976 (Jacks Creek Road). Raven Run entrance on the right.
Raven Run is a unique 470 acre nature sanctuary dedicated to preserving the natural beauty of the Kentucky River Palisades and early Kentucky history. Numerous 19th Century remnants of early settlers occur there. Operating hours are October - March. Call (859) 272-6105.
Habitat and Trail Info: 8.5 mile network of hiking trails provides access to streams, meadows and woodlands characteristic of the area. To protect the flora and fauna of the sanctuary, activities are limited to the trail system.
Wildlife Viewing Opportunities: Over 600 species of plants including 40 species of trees and more than 200 species of birds allow visitors to become acquainted with and appreciate the natural world. Visitors must sign-in first at the Nature Center.
Day Trip: Camp Nelson Union Army Supply Depot located 5 miles south of Nicholasville. This is mainly a site of historical significance, however, it provides an opportunity to enjoy the scenery of the Kentucky River Palisades from the Jessamine Co. side of the river near the Tom Doreman Nature Preserve.
J3 Tom Doreman Nature Preserve
From Camp Nelson proceed S on US 27. Turn right on Rt. 1845 and follow for one mile. Take next right. Follow this road for approx. 3/4 mile. Park in gravel parking lot.
Habitat and Trail Info: Protects 565 acres with spectacular, 220-ft palisades along the Kentucky River. Due to hazardous cliffs, fragile habitat, the preserve is only open to the public along the Garrard Co. side of the Kentucky River. Two mile loop foot trail through the forest and to the river. Hiking is moderately difficult with hills and steps. No facilities. Open to the public form sunrise to sunset.
Wildlife Viewing Opportunities: Features 220 foot limestone palisade walls, rare plants and the Kentucky River. The Preserve offers hiking, nature study and bird watching. Several rare plants are located in the thin soils on the limestone cliffs - starry cleft phlox and Eggleston's violet.
Herrington Lake is over 35 miles long covering 3500 acres. Has crappie, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, catfish, perch rock, bluegill, white bass and hybrids. Skiing, fishing and boating.
J4 Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill
From Herrington Lake continue on KY 152 toward Burgin and turn right on KY 33 N. Take KY 33 N to Pleasant Hill. Turn Right onto US 68 and proceed to entrance on the right.
Habitat and Trail Info: Shaker Village, a National Historic Landmark, is dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of 34 original 19th-century buildings and 2800 acres of farmland consisting of rolling pastureland to forested river bottomland along the Kentucky River. Trails provide the day hiker, mountain biker and horseback rider an opportunity to view one of the most beautiful areas of central Kentucky. 28 miles in 21 multiple use trails available for exploring. The village offers also offers lodging and fine dining.
Wildlife Viewing Opportunities: FLORA. 440 herbaceous and woody plants, including several rare species, have been identified here. Wildflowers: trillium, fire pink phlox, bloodroot, blue-eyed Marys. Also various woody plants. PRAIRIE. Dominated by wildflowers (rare plant community): pale purple coneflowers, bergamot, butterfly milkweed, sunflowers and black-eyed Susans. WILDLIFE. Mammals - squirrel, chipmunk, fox, raccon, rabbit, groundhog, opossum, coyote and white-tailed deer. Birds - birds of prey wheel high overhead, wild turkey and many species of waterfowl. No Fishing or hunting.
From Shaker Village take US 68 to Harrodsburg.
KY's oldest town offers an appealing mix of history, architecture and culture. Breathtaking palisades and gently rolling countryside.
Fort Harrod: replica of the original. Enjoy a "living history" experience. Osage Orange: One of the most unique trees in the nation. Tree is taller and broader than the national champion but remains the unoffical champion because of its split trunk.
Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site: (Short drive from Harrodsburg to Perryville). Was the most important Civil War engagement fought in KY. Enjoy the beautiful and historical grounds of the park on one of the walking trails.
J6 Central KY Wildlife Refuge
From Perryville take US 150/Hwy 52 to Danville. Right onto US 127 Bypass S, right on Hwy 300 at Junction City. Left onto Hwy 37, to left on Carpenter Creek Road. 1 mile on left.
500-acre preserve, 13 miles from Danville, borders a stretch of the North Rolling River. Refuge is open to all and is a permanent sanctuary for plant and animal forms native to Central KY. Five main trails ranging from easy to strenuous. (859) 236-7794.
Habitat and Trail Info: Trails: wildflower, yellow, deer, red, blue and circle. Wonderful for ferns.
Wildlife Viewing Opportunities: Bird blind provides closeup view of feeding birds for study & photography. Purple and house finches, evening grosbecks, cardinals, towhees, Carolina chickadees, flickers and nuthatches. Wildflowers: lady slippers, blue bells, bird's foot violets, bloodroot, trilliums, trout lillies, ferns, mosses and lichens. Mammals: deer, foxes, grey & fox squirrels, muskrats, flying squirrels and woodchucks.