Reservations are no longer required to hike at Raven Run Nature Sanctuary.
Raven Run is a unique, 734-acre nature sanctuary located just outside of Lexington. The park borders the Kentucky River and provides a great place for hiking and wildlife viewing. Ten miles of trails pass through meadows, woodlands, and streams characteristic of the inner Bluegrass. Historic remnants of early 19th century settlers can also be found throughout the park.
Register for upcoming events and programs
During high visitation, we will be closing admission to the park until parking spots become available. Expect high visitation during weekends, school breaks, and holidays.
Programs for schools, scouts, clubs and other groups
Raven Run offers free educational programs for
- School groups
- Boy scouts
- Girl scouts
Call the park for more information or to schedule a program (859) 272-6105.
Job and volunteer opportunities
Call the Nature Center for current volunteer/internship opportunities or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions regarding volunteer work at the sanctuary.
- Red Trail – The main trail loop that takes you through the majority of the park. This is a single track wooded trail which consists of exposed rocks and roots, mud, and potentially downed trees/limbs.
- Green Trail – This is a series of trails that allow visitors to experience the meadows of Raven Run. These trails consist mainly of mowed grass, are more open than the Red Trail and generally easier to walk on.
- Orange Trail – This trail is a 1 mile loop off of the Red Trail and consists of open meadows, some wooded areas, and great views from a high elevation.
- Blue Trails – These trails connect the Green Trails to the Red Trail at various intersections. These trails are often shorter and offer the ability to see parts of the Red Trail without having to complete the 4 mile loop.
- Yellow Trail – Located off the Red Trail, this trail provides a shortcut from Point D to H. This short, but scenic, trail offers incredible views of spring wildflowers during their peak blooming season of April to May.
- White Trails – These short trails connect the Red Trail to points of interest throughout the park.
- Freedom Trail – This is a paved, barrier-free trail located beside the parking lot. This trail is roughly 1 mile long and is the only paved trail at Raven Run.
Points of interest
Kentucky River Overlook – A 70 ft overlook of the Kentucky River provides a view of the scenic Kentucky River Palisades.
Evans Mill – The site of a historic grist mill built by Peter Evans in 1833. Raven Run Creek was dammed at the time and the water from the creek powered the mill. Area farmers would bring corn to the mill to be ground.
Moore Grave – This headstone marks the grave of Archibald Moore. Moore was born on November 25, 1840 and was buried in front of his log cabin on February 9, 1871.
Prather Homestead – The majority of what is now Raven Run was owned by the Prather family in the early 1800's. The homestead includes a historic home, cemetery, and smokehouse.
For your safety and enjoyment, and that of others, please follow the listed rules:
Register at the Nature Center
- Stay on established trails
- No pets
- No alcohol
- No bicycles
- No camping
- No drones
- No fires or grills
- No collection, defacement, or destruction of anything living or non-living in the park
- No wading or hiking in creeks
- No fishing
Why no pets at Raven Run?
Raven Run serves as a nature sanctuary for both visitors and wildlife. Raven Run does not allow pets because they can disrupt the natural balance of the sensitive habitats and wildlife that we work to protect and promote as a Nature Sanctuary. Wildlife senses pets, even friendly pets, as predators. The mere presence of an outside animal causes a stress reaction in native wildlife. Pets can also displace wildlife, introduce disease, cause mortality, impact water quality, trample native plants, and detract from wildlife viewing. Lexington Parks & Recreation offers many opportunities to users that want to spend time outdoors with their pets, but Raven Run is one of the few places where pets aren’t permitted so we can better protect native plants and animals and provide unique experiences in nature.