The Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission maintains a system of nature preserves that showcase excellent examples of Kentucky's biodiversity. The primary function of a nature preserve is to protect rare biological resources and natural communities. For this reason, only passive recreational activities such as hiking, photography, bird watching and nature study are appropriate. The majority of the preserves are open year-round from sunrise to sunset. Trails are open to foot traffic only, and visitors must stay on them at all times. In order to protect the natural and cultural resources occurring on state nature preserves, motorized vehicles, horseback riding, bike riding, artifact gathering, plant gathering, hunting, climbing, rappelling, camping, picnicking, building fires, audio equipment and pets are not permitted.
Each year, a series of guided hikes is led by commission employees. Programming for children and adults is also offered by several partners. A list of state nature preserve hikes and events is available via our events calendar.