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Archer-Benge State Nature Preserve

Location: Whitley County
Size: 1,864 acres
Access: Access for research onlyResearch Only
Purchased with Assistance of:  
Kentucky Natural Lands Trust 
* U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Archer-Benge State Nature Preserve, dedicated on March 14, 2013 was named to honor Hugh Archer, one of Kentucky’s leaders in natural areas conservation and the late William Dennis Benge, whose substantial bequest was used to purchase this property.  The preserve protects a significant portion of one of the largest forest blocks in Kentucky. The 1,864-acre preserve is located within the Laurel Fork watershed in Whitley County on the southern end of Pine Mountain. This preserve covers the north and south face of Pine Mountain and contains significant natural areas that include rare plants such as the golden club, rock harlequin and blue mountain mint. The preserve also harbors populations of the federally endangered mussel, Cumberland elktoe and the federally endangered fish, the Cumberland Darter. The preserve will open to the public once a trail system is completed. At this time, access is by written permission for scientific research.