Kentucky

Pine Creek Barrens Preserve


Pine Creek Barrens is considered one of the finest examples of limestone/dolomite barrens complex in the state. The preserve also serves as a tranquil respite from the fast-pace of nearby cities of Louisville and Elizabethtown.

Location

Eight miles east of Shepherdsville near Cedar Grove.

Size

158 acres 

Threats

Invasive species, cedar encroachment, hardwood tree and shrub encroachment into open areas.

What’s At Stake

This open woodland with a prairie-like ground cover hosts a diversity of native glade flora. Other natural communities at Pine Creek Barrens include the dry upland woods which surround the glade. On the southwest boundary, scenic Pine Creek flows through a beautiful mesic ravine forest lined with small limestone cliffs.

Specifically, At least eight rare and endangered plant species have been identified at this site, including the globally threatened glade cress (Leavenworthia exigua var. Laciniata), which has adapted to grow in small depressions on the exposed bedrock. This plant is found only in select areas in Bullitt and Jefferson counties.

Other plant species include indian grass (Sorghastrum nutans) and little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), which wave majestically on windy days. Depending on the season, colorful wildflowers sprinkle the landscape, including pale purple coneflower (Echinacea pallida), obedient plant (Physostegia virginiana), and various species of blazing star (Liatrus).

Milestones

The Conservancy’s acquisitions began in 1991 and the preserve was opened for public hiking in 2017.

What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing

At Pine Creek Barrens, the Conservancy is working to maintain and restore the rare plants and natural communities found here by identifying and treating invasive species, cutting and removing cedar trees and hardwoods, and implementing controlled burning.

Visit Pine Creek Barrens Nature Preserve to enjoy passive recreation activities like hiking, bird watching and photography. There is also one table dedicated to picnicking.

Download a trail map of the nature preserve before you visit!

Directions

Pine Creek Barrens rests on Pine Creek TrailRoad approximately one mile from KY 480 near Cedar Grove.

GPS Coordinates: Latitiude 37.9831/Longitude -85.6276

From Louisville: Take I-65 S for about 25 miles, turning off on exit 116. Turn left and go about 4.5 miles on KY 480 (Cedar Grove Rd) until you come to its intersection with Pine Creek Trail. Turn left on Pine Creek Trail and go .9mi. The entrance to Pine Creek Barrens Nature Preserve will be on the left. Note: Do not turn right on Pine Creek Road – stay on Pine Creek Trail for a total of .9 miles.

Discussion

Have you been to this preserve? Are you thinking of visiting? See what others are saying about their experiences and add your comments below.

Add Your Comments

Time for you to join the discussion. Tell us about your experience at this preserve. What plants and animals did you see? When did you go? You can help others plan their visit when you share your thoughts. And thank you for visiting one of our nature preserves!

comments powered by Disqus



Read our guidelines on posting comments




GET TEXT UPDATES*

Stay Updated

Learn about the places you love and find out how you can help by signing up for Nature eNews.

I'm already on the list Read our privacy policy

Thank you for joining our online community!

We'll be in touch soon with more Nature Conservancy news, updates, and exciting stories.