Raven Run Nature Sanctuary


Raven Run Nature Sanctuary

The 734-acre Raven Run Nature Sanctuary features over 10 miles of hiking trails that traverse meadow, forest, and creek ecosystems and lead to the cliffs of the Kentucky River Palisades. More than 200 bird and 600 plant species may be viewed throughout the year.

The park offers a nature center and many unique displays and pamphlets. Visitors are required to sign in and out at the nature center upon entering and leaving the trail system. Learn more by clicking here.

Hiking Trails

Raven Run is an incredible, unique 734-acre park dedicated to preserving the natural beauty of the Kentucky River Palisades. With over 10 miles of hiking trails, this park is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. The hiking trails offer a variety of experiences and are perfect for families, hikers, birders, and wildlife viewers.

Raven Run is located in Lexington KY, just a short drive from downtown. From the city, take Richmond Road east (out of town) and turn right onto Highway 25/Old Richmond Road/Jack’s Creek Pike. Go about 5 1/2 miles on Jack’s Creek Pike and you will see the entrance to the park on your left.

Once you arrive at the park you will want to take the paved trail from the parking lot to the Red Trail. You will start a long, steady descent on a wide single-track wooded trail with some historic features along the way. At the bottom of the trail, you will reach the beautiful view of the river.

Bird Watching

The 216-acre park is a mix of grassy areas, small forested and reservoir habitats and it’s a good place to see spring and fall migrants and winter waterfowl. It’s also home to one of the largest fields of Goldenrod in central Kentucky, a brilliant swath of yellow that blooms each September.

The cobweb of trails allows you to hike the entire park in a variety of ways depending on your time and fitness level. You can choose to climb the ridge along the gorge for the first third of your hike or follow the cliff rim for the last third.

School children and Boy and Girl Scouts are frequent visitors to the park which hosts special programs in birds, wildflowers, reptiles, and astronomy. Volunteer naturalists lead monthly bird walks at the park. You can also join a nature photography class or take part in an educational program about the history of the site. All ages are welcome. This unique place is a must-see!

Nature Center

Raven Run is a unique, 734-acre nature preserve that’s dedicated to preserving the natural beauty of the Kentucky River Palisades and early Kentucky history. The park features miles of hiking trails that allow visitors to explore streams, woodlands, and meadows that are typical of the inner Bluegrass region. The park also has a number of historic remnants from 19th-century settlers.

The park also has a beautiful nature center where visitors can learn more about the different ecosystems found at the park and the plants and animals that live there. The nature center is open during park operating hours and is free to visit.

When visiting Raven Run Nature Sanctuary, be sure to check in at the nature center before beginning your hike. This is to ensure that visitors follow all rules and regulations to protect the flora and fauna of the park. The staff at the nature center can provide you with a trail map and offer suggestions for hiking routes.


Raven Run Nature Sanctuary is a beautiful park to visit any time of the year. The trails are paved, scenic, and handicap accessible making this a great choice for those looking for a nice day hike close to home. The park has a wide variety of trails including the 4-mile Red Trail and a 1-mile Orange Trail. The trails are interconnected which makes it easy to change your route as you explore. The park is popular with school groups and Boy and Girl Scout troops throughout the year.

After leaving the parking lot follow the paved Freedom Trail to the Nature Center and sign-in area to check out the trail map. This is also a great spot to get information about the plants, flowers, and animals you may encounter on your hike. From here you can begin hiking the trails. The Red Trail heads down the ridge and crosses Jacks Creek over this footbridge. In late Summer and early Fall, the creek is often dry, but in Spring or after a rain this bridge fills up and makes for an interesting photo opportunity as the water cascades over the rock ledges below. Up next is Lake Mingo Park.


Driving directions from Integrity Curb Appeal to Raven Run Nature Sanctuary

Driving directions from Raven Run Nature Sanctuary to Lake Mingo Park

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