This 75-mile loop allows one to visit three wildlife management areas and a state forest. Scenic overlooks, small caves and reclaimed minelands are just some of the features.
C1 Jones-Keeney Wildlife Management Area
At Princeton, go east on US 62 (6 miles) towards Dawson Springs Gas, lodging and dining opportunities available in nearby Princeton.
Habitat and trail info: There are large oaks and some portions of the forest contain old growth timber. Some open areas are bottoms and ridges. The terrain is hilly with very few trails and roads.
Wildlife viewing opportunities: Scarlet tanager, black and white warbler, eastern wood-pewee, cerulean warbler are some of the birds found in the area. Deer, squirrel, turkey, and raccoon can be found here as well.
C2 Tradewater Wildlife Management Area
Continue on US62 to KY 109 (1 mile south of Dawson Springs). Access on both sides of road 1 mile south of Tradewater River Bridge. Gas, lodging and dining opportunities available in nearby Madisonville.
Habitat and trail info: Steep hilly terrain, almost completely forested with a pine-hardwood community. Hiking and birdwatching with several unique rock overhangs, bluffs, and small caves. Camping is not allowed.
Wildlife viewing opportunities: Blue-gray gnatcatcher, eastern tufted flycatcher, Carolina wren are a few of the birds in the area. Deer, squirrel, and raccoon are also found here. A good place for hiking and bird-watching, the area has several unique rock overhangs, bluffs, and small caves.
C3 - Pennyrile Forest
(270) 797-3421. One can enter Pennyrile Forest from Tradewater Wildlife Management Area or go east on US62, 1 mile to Dawson Springs then 8 miles on KY109 to the park entrance. Gas, lodging and dining opportunities available in nearby Dawson Springs.
Habitat and sites: Consists of hilly terrain primarily forested with hardwood, pine and mixed forest communities. Many roads and trails within the area some paved. Food, lodging, camping and recreational facilities at Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park. Fishing in Beshear and Pennyrile lakes is available. Seven trails loop around the lake and through the forest areas. The trails range from easy to difficult in hiking ability.
Wildlife viewing opportunities: Acadian flycatcher, red-eyed vireo, pine warbler, Louisiana waterthrush may be seen.
C4 White City Wildlife Management Area
Go back to Dawson Springs and take US62 east 15 miles to US41 north 2 miles to Mortons Gap then east 3 miles to KY 813 to gravel road. Gas, lodging and dining opportunities available in nearby Madisonville.
Habitat and sites: The area consists of reclaimed minelands, bottomland, hardwoods, mixed pine-hardwood forest and open fields.
Wildlife viewing opportunities: White City WMA has an abundance of water birds, hawks, ospreys, beavers, coyotes, bobcats, rabbits, quail, deer, doves, turkey, and waterfowl. White-eyed vireo, yellow-billed cuckoo, northern harrier, northern parula, warblers and short-eared owl may also be seen.
Side Trips: While in Dawson Springs, be sure to visit historic riverside park where the Pittsburgh Pirates and other major and minor leagues once played as well as partake in a canoe trip on the Tradewater River. In Princeton, you may wish to visit the Adsmore House, the old theater as well as the historic downtown district and learn the history of the Black Patch Wars.
Wildlife viewing opportunities: View hawks, vultures, wild turkey, goldfinches, eastern bluebirds, eastern meadowlarks, white-throated sparrows, chipping sparrows and other open land species.
Best place to look for birds: Birds can be found in and around trees, standing in open prairie grass, near water holes, open tall grass areas and brushy edges.
Side trips: Visit the Golden Pond Visitor Center and Planetarium, The Homeplace1850, area trails and picnic areas.