The mission of Lexington’s natural areas is to preserve the beauty of the Kentucky Bluegrass Region along with remnants of early Kentucky history. Our natural areas contain a variety of native flora and fauna, important historical features and cultural connections. They also provide refuge for visitors seeking solitude or outdoor experiences with a range of physical and psychological values. Visiting our natural areas is a great way to step out of your everyday routine and into the natural beauty of Kentucky’s native wilderness.
By designating our parks as 'natural areas', we hope to maximize public access to rare and native resources within our park system, while minimizing the impact of such visitation. To accomplish this mission, we focus our maintenance efforts on improving ecosystem/habitats while protecting the geologic and historic features of the parks using good land stewardship.
We also maintain facilities within our natural areas including nature centers, hiking trails, habitat enhancements such as bat boxes and bug hotels, and interpretive signage. Our facilities focus on education by the use of nature activities, some of which include expertly led tours, adventure programming, stargazing and much more.
Have you ever wondered what Kentucky’s bluegrass prairies would look like if famous settlers like William McConnell had never stepped foot on Kentucky soil? Have you ever wanted to experience the mighty Kentucky River as it carves its way through the palisades? Have you ever seen native Kentucky wildflowers in full bloom? We have the places for you!