Maywoods: Eastern Kentucky’s Environmental Laboratory

DSC03562As a student at Eastern Kentucky University I had visited Maywoods several times for educational purposes.  I had limited experience on the trails and even less time to enjoy them fully.  Maywoods is listed as the Environmental and Educational Laboratory of Eastern Kentucky University, located 22 miles southwest of Richmond in Garrard and Rockcastle Counties.  It is a 1,700 acre natural area that is managed by the University, also a wildlife refuge for native plants and animals it is also home to Lake Edmiston.

Along with the lake Maywoods serves as an  excellent place for field trips, meetings, or for EKU to hold classes in the lodge that is located next to the lake.  The lodge has a large meeting room with food services and housing for up to 40 people.  The overall purpose of Maywoods is to educate and it is obvious by the trails around the property.  Each trail is identified by the type of ecosystem that is showcased along the trail with signs posted along the way that provide information concerning the specific type of ecosystem.  Here are the trails that can be found at Maywoods:

  • Lake Ecosystem Trail
  • Forest Ecosystem Trail
  • Oak-History Forest Trail
  • Lake Side Path
  • Stream Side Path

The first trail that I wanted to try is the longest of the trails that are currently marked at Maywoods.  This is the Forest Ecosystem trail which is about 1.4 miles long and can be reached by using the lake ecosystem trail to connect.  I would say this is a moderate trail at times becoming quite steep but nothing that should keep anyone away.  This trail offered good views of the lake along with many stream crossings some with bridges some without.  The trail begins on the south side of Lake Edmiston across the dam and ends near the lodge on the North side.  You will have to finish on the Oak-Hickory Forest trail as the FET does not lead all the way back to the lodge.

The Lake ecosystem trail is a 735 yard trail that leads you along the side of Lake Edmiston in a lollipop loop format.  This trail provides information about food webs found in lakes talks about the types of animals that can be found there.  After finishing that trail I went to the stream side path which is about 250 yards and leads right into the stream that you see just past the gate as you drive up to the lodge.  For me Maywoods is an excellent for my family and I to hike, it’s close to home and allows us to see many wonderful natural things and still be back home soon.

For more information visit www.naturalareas.eku.edu.  Be sure and share your hiking moments with us at our Facebook page, and as always happy hiking:)

One Response to “Maywoods: Eastern Kentucky’s Environmental Laboratory”

  • omegaman66 says:

    Thanks for the greatly informative post. I just love these type of trails. Allows me to brushup on my dendrology. Been awhile since I got out of college and I get pretty rusty. Use it or lose it.

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