Jim Beam Nature Preserve

View from the trail

With my growing family I am continually looking for close to home quick hikes that can be completed in a couple of hours just to get that nature fix that we all need.  So while searching for nearby geocaches I found the Jim Beam Nature Preserve, having never heard of this place before I was eager to see what it had to offer.  This is a 115 acre preserve bordering Jessamine and Garrard Counties that was formed by The Nature Conservancy in 1995 along with the Jim Beam Brand celebrating it’s 200 year anniversary.  Having hiked near the Palisades before I know this area is very beautiful with moderate elevation changes that usually reward with a very good view of the Kentucky River.  There is parking available and is located towards the end of Hall Rd. just off of 27 on the Nicholasville side of the river.

The trail starts just off the parking area and is a 1.5 mile lollipop loop around the preserve.  We started on the trail just planning to find the two caches along the trail and head back to the car.  Shortly after starting you come to the fork towards the loop portion of the trail to left is probably a little easier on the climb back but we chose to go to the right having not hiked here before.  After finding the two we decided to finish the loop to see the rest of the area.  With no leaves on the trees we got a great view of the river from elevation, one that I believe come April won’t be nearly as visible.

Gray Bat

As we continued on the trail we found several moss covered rocks and other exposed rocks that made good places to sit and take in the scenery.  I am eager to return to the trail later in Spring to see all of the plant life that will be thriving by that time.  Some of the plants that the preserve boasts are Starry Cleft Phlox ( Phlox bifida ssp. stellaria) and Mountain Lover (Pachistima canbyi).  As far as wildlife the preserve also houses two endangered bat species: Gray Bat (Myotis grisescens) and Indiana Bat (Myotis sodalis).  Even though squirrels were the only wildlife we saw this morning knowing that there are protected areas for endangered species offers some peace of mind.

The whole trip took a little over an hour so I definitely recommend this area for a quick hike or a hike with children.  As with most of our nature preserves they survive base on the kindness and donations of those that benefit from them so if you have enjoyed this trail or just want to contribute click Donate to The Nature Conservancy.  As always enjoy the outdoors and look after them, encourage others to get out and enjoy as well.  Happy Hiking.

5 Responses to “Jim Beam Nature Preserve”

Leave a Reply

Join us on Facebook
Want to see more photos, join the hikes, and find out more about the hiking opportunities in Kentucky? Join us here Hike Kentucky on Facebook