Now spans 420 acres
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 1, 2017) — The Lower Howard’s Creek Nature and Heritage Preserve in Clark County has grown by 77 acres, through a grant from the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund (KHLCF), the state program funded in part by sale of “Nature’s Finest” license plates. The popular hiking spot, near the Kentucky River on Athens-Boonsboro Road, now spans more than 420 acres.
The acreage includes the John Holder Hiking Trail, which begins at the “Halls on the River” restaurant and which first opened to the public in 2012. KHLCF holds a conservation easement on all of the property, and most of the forested acreage is managed as part of the Kentucky State Nature Preserve (KSNP) system.
“Lower Howard’s Creek is one of the crown jewels for both the KHLCF and KSNP programs,” said Zeb Weese, executive director of KSNP and a KHLCF board member. “It really has it all — from hiking trails with beautiful scenery, to rare species habitat, to artifacts from Kentucky’s pioneer era. This additional tract is an important piece in the puzzle.”
Property manager Clare Sipple said the property includes remnants of Factory Bottom, where many small water powered industries helped to make the Lower Howard’s Creek valley the largest industrial settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains in the early 19th century.