The John Holder Trail traverses the only portion of the Preserve open to the public. This trail lies on land settled by Kentucky pioneer Col. John Holder and the trail bears his name. Holder, made his mark as one of the heroic defenders of Fort Boonesborough.
This trail is 1.4 miles long (out and back 2.8 miles). The trail follows segments of several old roads including the Athens-Boonesboro Turnpike, the Salt Springs Trace and Holder’s Road. It is now open to the public every day from sunrise to sundown. The trail head is to the right of Halls Restaurant, located at 1225 Athens Boonesboro Road, Winchester, KY. Look for the signs. Trail parking is available in the parking lot behind Hall’s Restaurant. Trail brochures are available at a kiosk about 50 feet up the trail or click here to download and print.
John Holder was a commercial-industrial innovator involved in far-sighted business enterprises. Under Holder’s leadership, the settlement he established at the mouth of Lower Howard’s Creek grew to include a store, tavern, boatyard, ferry, warehouse and mill. His landing on the Kentucky River became a major departure point of flatboats bound for New Orleans with Kentucky produce. Because other developers followed Holder’s lead, Lower Howard’s Creek became one of the first industrial areas of Kentucky. Much of the area is now enclosed in the Lower Howard’s Creek Nature & Heritage Preserve.
All other parts of the Preserve may only be visited by scheduled guided hikes (see Organized Hikes).It is unlawful to trespass in other areas of the Preserve.