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Snow trillium ~ photo by Beverly James

Floracliff State Nature Preserve

Location: Fayette County
Size: 287 acres
Access: Access by appointment onlyBy Appointment

Floracliff Nature Sanctuary
Floracliff Nature Sanctuary


Floracliff was established as a nature sanctuary by the late Dr. Mary Wharton, former botany professor and Biology Department head at Georgetown College. Dr. Wharton began acquiring the Floracliff property in 1958. The property is located on the Kentucky River in Fayette County. The Floracliff Board of Directors owns the preserve and jointly manages it with the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission. This area was dedicated on March 15, 1996. Floracliff is 287 acres of old field upland and second-growth forest dominated by maple, oak and hickory. In addition to having a rich and diverse wildflower display, Floracliff also harbors a significant geological feature. Below Elk Lick Falls is a tufa formation, which resembles a frozen waterfall. It is considered one of the best tufa formations in the eastern United States. Similar to stalagmites in caves, tufas are formed when minerals within dripping water are deposited on a surface. Travertine is the primary mineral composing this tufa. The formation is 61 feet high and 8-12 feet in diameter. The rich flora, ravines, cliffs and waterfalls of Floracliff make it one of the more scenic areas in central Kentucky.

Visitation to the preserve is by appointment only and is restricted to small groups led by approved leaders. To learn more about Floracliff please visit the official website at

Upcoming Events:
Registration is required for all events and programs are limited to 15 participants. All events are $5 per person or $12 per family unless otherwise noted. For more information or to register contact Preserve Manager Beverly James at 859-296-0986 or at To see a full listing of events visit