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Energy and Environment Cabinet

A view of Black Mountain in the distance from Pine Mountain Trail SPNP. ~ KSNPC photo by Marc Evans

E. Lucy Braun State Park Nature Preserve

Location: Harlan County
Size: 609 acres
Access: Open to the publicOpen to Public

Owner:
Kentucky Department of Parks
Managers:
* KSNPC
Kentucky Department of Parks
Purchased with Assistance of:  
Kentucky Natural Lands Trust 
* Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund

Link to Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund
 

The 609-acre E. Lucy Braun State Park Nature Preserve is on the south slope of Pine Mountain in Harlan County and contains a great variety of habitats and biological diversity. The preserve was dedicated into the state nature preserves system on June 13, 2007 as Pine Mountain Trail State Park Nature Preserve, but was renamed on Sept. 25, 2014 to honor renowned forest ecologist Dr. Emma Lucy Braun. Large sandstone outcrops found throughout the preserve feature gnarly old pitch pines (Pinus rigida) and Virginia pines (P. virginiana), colorful mosses and lichens. These openings offer striking views of Black Mountain across the valley to the south. Pine woodland, a rare community type recovering from the pine bark beetle outbreak in the late 1990s, fringes these outcrops to the north. An Appalachian bog, one of the rarest natural communities in the state, also is known from the property. The preserve provides habitat for rare plants such as showy gentian (Gentiana decora) and pale corydalis (Corydalis sempervirens), which are restricted to Pine Mountain. Facilities are planned for through-hiking on the Pine Mountain Trail on land adjoining the preserve. Hiking is available from sunrise to sunset.