Lower Howards b

Capture Kentucky in all seasons
Lower Howard’s Creek Nature and Heritage Preserve!

John Holder Trail Directions- To access The Public John Holder Trail please enter at the trailhead near Hall’s on the River at 1225 Athens Boonesboro Rd, Winchester, KY 40391. Google maps is incorrectly directing to a neighborhood on the back side of the trail with no public access. We have sent a correction to Google maps and it should be corrected soon.

Autumn Hike Schedule Now Available

In order to protect fragile plants and cultural resources, the main part of the Preserve is off limits to visitors UNLESS on a guided hike. The John Holder Trail is our only public trail, with access year-round, from sunrise to sunset.

Lower Howard’s Creek Nature and Heritage Preserve was created on November 27, 2000, when Clark County Fiscal Court purchased 240 acres of land located on both sides of Lower Howard’s Creek immediately upstream from the confluence of the Creek and the Kentucky River.

The purpose of the Preserve is to provide nature education, to preserve endangered and threatened species, and to preserve and interpret an important chapter in the history of Clark County and the Bluegrass Region of Kentucky

"Tom Eblen defends funding for nature preserves such as Lower Howard's Creek in the Lexington Herald-Leader on March 1, 2016. Read it here...


Learn about completion of Our Trail Improvement Project


sunny creek

New Tract of Land added to
 the Nature and Heritage Preserve

Clark County Fiscal Court recently acquired a new tract of land from Tom and Angela Rice to add to the Lower Howard's Creek Nature and Heritage Preserve. The purchase was funded by a Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund Board grant.

This new parcel of land contains 77 acres of crucial buffer zones for the Preserve, as well as the streams they harbor. It is on this tract of land that the “palisades” of Lower Howard’s Creek begin, with a large cliff comprising the southwestern boundary of this tract. The tract is currently being utilized as a bison farm, and contains a steep cliff, creek frontage, two natural springs and their associated drainages, and pasture land that will be buffer land for the creek and will allow access to the tract.

 The tract contains the remnants of an early industrial complex known historically as “Factory Bottom” where numerous small businesses were established in the late 18th century, and continued into the mid-19th century. Factory Bottom also contains the remnants of a grist mill, its dam and raceway, and the dam for a fulling mill just downstream, but off this property. The Rice property also contains the remnants of old roads that could, in the future, connect the entire Preserve with a trail.

This property will not be open to the public while necessary biological and archaeological surveys are performed, fences, gates and signage erected, and invasive plants controlled. The property will only be available for viewing with a guided tour, since the large bison herd is immediately adjacent to the Preserve's property.

Thanks to the Rice family for their patience through the long process of acquiring their land, and for giving us the wonderful opportunity to preserve in perpetuity this historically important property.


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Lower Howard’s Creek Nature and Heritage Preserve - Clark County Kentucky

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