Thompson Creek Glades State Nature Preserve

This preserve is a very high quality, dry, limestone hill glade developed on thin-bedded Salem limestone. This area is a remnant of the vast prairies that once graced over 2 million acres of Kentucky before European settlement.


Northern LaRue County


79 acres


Due to the sensitivity of the site, the preserve is not open to the public. Access for research is by written permission only.

Why the Conservancy Selected This Site

The natural community supports rich and diverse prairie/glade flora. With proper management, Thompson Creek Glades can be a window to our past, supporting the flora which once graced much more of the state.

The plants that thrive on the rocky outcroppings - agave (Agave virginica) and prickly-pear cactus (Opuntia humifusa) -- have adapted to harsh living conditions, developing water-retaining structures.
The prairie plants that survive on the glade include grasses such as big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii), little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) and Indian grass (Sorghastrum nutans). Various species of blazing stars (Liatris) and goldenrod (Solidago) are noted for their vibrant color. Wild quinine (Parthenium integrifolium), rattlesnake master (Eryngium yuccafolium) and obedient plant (Physostegia virginiana) are also found here.

Deserving special attention are:

  •  the state-threatened silky aster (Aster sericeus)
  • the state-threatened Indian paintbrush (Castilleja coccinea)
  • Crawe's sedge (Carex crawei)
What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing

The Conservancy and the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission have protected a significant parcel of land with registry agreements and direct purchases.