Eastview Barrens State Nature Preserve

Large prairie-like expanses of grassland used to cover much of midwestern Kentucky.

Eastview Barrens consists of sandstone and limestone barrens intermixed with a dry oak (Quercus spp.) forest. The preserve is an outstanding remnant of the original "Big Barrens," large prairie-like expanses of grassland that covered much of midwestern Kentucky. These areas were rapidly converted to farmland, except for the more rocky sites and those with sandy soils such as Eastview.

Hardin County, about 20 miles outside of Elizabethtown.

120 acres


Due to the sensitivity of the site, the preserve is open to the public only through Conservancy guided hikes.

Why the Conservancy Selected This Site

The preserve harbors rare and endangered plant species indicative of high quality grasslands. Eastview is also home to many insects, including rare species, which are dependent upon the prairie plants.

What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing

Historically, the Barrens was a fire maintained system. Today, The Nature Conservancy and the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission (KSNPC) use fire as a management tool to protect this unique site. Performed by specially trained crews, prescribed ecological burns help maintain the open nature of the grassland and keep the woody species from encroaching and shading out the native plant species.

The preserve was dedicated into the state nature preserve system in September 1997 and is jointly owned by the Conservancy and KSNPC. Stewardship objectives include maintaining and monitoring the size and vigor of the populations of rare species and maintaining the assemblage of other naturally occurring prairie/barrens species.

Plants Found in the Preserve

Some rare plants present include:

  • Silky aster (Aster sericeus)
  • Broadleaf beargrass (Gymnopogon ambigus)
  • Eggert's sunflower (Helianthus eggertii)
  • Plains frostweed (Helianthemum biknellii).
Animals Found in the Preserve

Animals that may be seen there include typical wildlife such as:
  • white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)
  • wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo)
  • cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus floridanus)
  • squirrels (Sciurus spp.)
  • many different species of songbirds