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The view from atop Pilot Knob. ~ photo by Joyce Bender, KSNPC

Pilot Knob State Nature Preserve

Location: Powell County
Size: 742 acres
Access: Open to the publicOpen to Public
Brochure/Trail Map: 

* Powell County Fiscal Court
Purchased with Assistance of: 
* The Nature Conservancy 
Land & Water Conservation Fund
* Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund

Link to Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund
Pilot Knob State Nature Preserve is a 742-acre area in Powell County. The original 308-acre area was acquired with the assistance of The Nature Conservancy and was dedicated on Sept. 26, 1985. The purchase of 340 acres, dedicated March 16, 1999, more than doubled the size of this preserve. An addition of 93 acres owned by the Powell County Fiscal Court was dedicated June 1, 2005.

A sandstone outcrop at the southeast end of the 730-foot-high knob is considered to be the prominence upon which Daniel Boone first stood and looked out over the Bluegrass region of Kentucky. It is known as "Boone's Overlook." The Pilot Knob trail is approximately 1.25 miles one-way to the top of the knob. Due to elevation gain it is considered very strenuous. The Sage Point Loop trail is approximately two miles and connects to the Pilot Knob Trail near the pinnacle. The Millstone Quarry trail is one mile round trip from the parking area.

  •  Features - cultural history, scenic views, historic millstone quarry
  • Access - Pilot Knob trail to overlook, very strenuous; Sage Point Loop trail, strenuous; Millstone Quarry trail, moderate
  • Facilities - none
  • Parking - seven or eight cars; one or two buses
  • Hazards - cliffs, venomous snakes (rare)
  • Activities - hiking, nature study, birding, geological study, etc.
  • Directions - Powell County. From the junction of the Mountain Parkway and KY 15 at Clay City, follow KY 15 north for 2.7 miles. Turn right on Brush Creek Road for 1.5 miles to gravel parking area.
Pilot Knob was highlighted in the Fall 2014 edition of Land, Air & Water magazine.