Places We Protect

A couple walks through a meadow.
Nature Walk A couple hikes at Pine Creek Barrens Nature Preserve © Mike Wilkinson

Kentucky Nature Preserves

The Nature Conservancy's public nature preserves in Kentucky provide more than 20 miles of hiking trails for visitors to enjoy.

Other Preserves (Closed)

  • A brown stalk of grass stretches in a breeze.

    Baumberger Barrens Nature Preserve

    Grayson County (172 acres) Since Mary Alice Baumberger gifted the property in 1992, TNC has maintained and monitored a diverse array of native vegetation associated with this glades/barrens community.

  • A green plant blooms with small yellow flowers

    Buffalo Trace Nature Preserve

    Fleming County (15.5 acres) This nature preserve boasts populations of the federally endangered Short's goldenrod, a rare member of the aster family that is considered endemic to Kentucky.

  • Crittenden Springs Nature Preserve

    Crittenden County (84 acres) TNC is protecting a high-quality limestone glade, adjacent woods and rare plants through with controlled fire management and other conservation tools.

  • Water surrounds thick tree trunks.

    Cypress Creek Swamp Nature Preserve

    Marshall County (284 acres) Cypress Creek Swamp provides protection for one of the best remaining examples of a bottomland hardwood and cypress/tupelo swamp in the Jackson Purchase region of Kentucky.

  • Davis Bend Preserve

    Hart County (166 acres owned by KY Wild Rivers Program; 100 acres owned by TNC) boasts more than a mile of frontage along a stretch of the Green River known to harbor more than 70 species of mussels.

  • A colorful turkey has an orange beak and big tail.

    Eastview Barrens Nature Preserve

    Hardin County (120 acres) Eastview Barrens represents a remnant of large prairie-like expanses of grassland that once covered much of midwestern Kentucky before being converted to farmland.

  • A rocky bluff juts out under a blue sky.

    Hunter Bluff Nature Preserve

    Caldwell County (34 acres) Hunter Bluff protects a 20-acre tract of old growth forest, dominated by Virginia pine, and a population of rare bugbane.

  • A black bear peeks through a tree.

    Jacob and Annie Cohen Forest Tract

    Letcher County (408 acres) This property is close to TNC’s Bad Branch Nature Preserve and 2,000 protected and nearly contiguous forested acres in eastern Kentucky and the Central Appalachians.

  • Green ferns blanket a forest.

    Mary Breckinridge Memorial Preserve

    Leslie County (132 acres) This remnant of Appalachian mesophytic forest protects a newly discovered species of Solidago and is home to one of the largest populations of white wood-mint in the state.

  • Delicate blue and yellow flowers bloom together.

    Mrs. Baylor O. Hickman Memorial Preserve

    Pulaski County (143 acres) This nature preserve boasts clean water that supports rare freshwater mussel species and harbors the globally-endangered and previously unknown Rockcastle aster.

  • Fall foliage highlights a forested landscape.

    Pine Mountain-Mullins Nature Preserve

    Letcher County (214.5 acres) Mabel Mullins gifted this tract to preserve the forest in its natural state. TNC is protecting it from human d from human disturbances while noting biological features.

  • A pink flower blooms at the end of a woody stem.

    Primroy Creek Nature Preserve

    This tributary of the Cumberland River is part of Pine Mountain, a landscape that boasts rare Downy goldenrod, diverse forests, and abundant little bluestem and goat's rue wildflowers.

  • A wetland emerges from a snowy area.

    Sunset Barrens Nature Preserve

    Sunset Barrens represents one of the Commonwealth's best remaining examples of sandstone barrens and glades, habitat that is likely to harbor an array of rare or endangered plants and animals.