Raven Run Nature Sanctuary

Raven Run Nature Center

Raven Run Nature Center

As most were out and about looking for those Black Friday deals, I decided to get in a hike at Raven Run Nature Sanctuary.  Raven Run Nature Sanctuary is a 734 acre nature sanctuary located near Nicholasville, KY.  Raven Run offers multiple programs not just for individuals but also for schools as well.  Information can be found at Raven Run’s website.

The sanctuary offers over 10 miles of trails that all are family friendly.  I decided that I would hit the red trail today which is the longest of the trails and has connectors to most of the popular view including Evans Mill and the Outlook.  So we will start from the parking lot which has plenty of spots and on most days needs them, as this is a very popular spot.  The lot was about half empty this morning with what I could figure to be people avoiding the Black Friday hustle and bustle.  As you start out it’s a short paved walk to the nature center which provides loads of information on the sanctuary as well as trail maps.

Clicking on this link will bring up the trail map for those who would like to check it out prior to heading out but if not then you can pick one up at the nature center or when you sign in.  After leaving the nature center continue on until you come to a meeting with the red trail.  You can clearly see the outlook sign leading to the right but I decided to go to the left, I like to shake things up a bit:).  I would rate this trail easy to moderate with an elevation change change of about 300 feet through the 5 miles I completed.  You begin with a gentle downhill that takes you to the first stream crossing, again elevation change for the whole trail was only about 300 ft so there were no real uphill challenges.  Between mile 2 and 2.5 was a very cool stream crossing with a nice bridge over it.  Click on highlighted part to see a short video.

Some of the other highlights of this trip were checking out the Evans Mill and Outlook over the Kentucky River.  The first I came to was Evans Mill, to actually get down to where it was located that I did have to leave the red trail just for a bit and it was definitely worth it.  At the meeting of two streams that were bulging due the recent rain made for a very nice picture of the falls of both streams coming together.  The next time I would leave the red trail would be to check out the Outlook.  Breathtaking views from high above the Kentucky River, the only problem is that there is very limited space to get a great view and there were several others there at the same time.

Finishing (or starting depending on your choice of direction at the beginning) you come to several plots highlighting different methods of dealing with the invasive species of bush honeysuckle  (Lonicera maackii). This plant species is invasive or nonnative plant that presents somewhat of a threat to out native plants in Kentucky because of it’s ability to grow rapidly.   This means that it crowds and shades out native species causing them to die out.  Always a plus when hiking trails are accompanied by good information on the natural areas we enjoy.

I would say that this is a very good hike to take the family on and I’m already planning another trip with my family.  Now if you are looking solitude this might not be the place for you as it usually can get a little crowded and you will meet several people on the trails, I met about 20-25.  I think that with almost anything it’s what your looking for and wanting out of your hike.  So if your wanting a gentle hike with beautiful scenery and don’t mind sharing with others than this is definitely a place that I recommend.  So check it out yourself, leave a comment letting me know your thoughts and as always happy hiking.

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