The commission and the Clark County Fiscal Court dedicated 228 acres of Lower Howard's Creek in southwestern Clark County on Jan. 22, 2001. A tributary to the Kentucky River, Lower Howard's Creek flows through a deep, twisting gorge. Second growth forests cover the slopes and cliff tops, and a showy array of spring wildflowers grace the valley bottoms. The steep topography has left refuge for two rare plants, the federally endangered running buffalo clover (Trifolium stoloniferum) and water stitchwort (Stellaria fontinalis), listed as threatened by the KSNPC. Located downstream from Fort Boonesborough, Lower Howard's Creek valley was an industrial center for water-powered stone milling in the 18th and 19th centuries. Five of the stone buildings that remain are on the National Register of Historic Places, and one can still find the rock fences and hike the historic wagon road winding down into the steep, forested gorge.
Presently, access is by guided hike only.
Visit the official Lower Howard's Creek Web site.
Preregistration is required for all events. To register or for more information, contact Preserve Manager Claire Sipple at 859-744-4888. All hikes will start at the preserve’s main entrance/parking lot on Athens-Boonesboro road unless otherwise noted. The preserve's terrain is quite steep and rocky, and shallow creek crossings are a possibility on all hikes, so please wear appropriate footwear as your feet may get wet. It is recommended that you carry water and trail snacks. To see a full listing of events visit www.lowerhowardscreek.org.