The Green River State Forest consists of 1,106 acres located about five miles northeast of the town of Henderson in Henderson County.
The property that is now the Green River State Forest was originally acquired by the Kentucky Center for Research in 1978 to build a synthetic fuels research and production site. For several reasons, the property was never used as intended. After being considered for a variety of possible uses, the property was transferred to the Division of Forestry in July 1998. The division plans to acquire additional property adjoining the current property in order to expand the forest.
The Green River State Forest is managed under the same general guidelines as the other state forests. It is managed for multiple uses and is open to the public for most recreational uses including hiking, hunting and fishing. Off-road vehicles, including ATVs are prohibited.
Special management goals are to re-establish as much bottomland hardwood forest as possible, both for research purposes and to maintain wildlife habitat, as well as to protect the unique habitat of the baldcypress swamp located near the river. Slightly more than half of the property consists of bottomland, which includes about 65 to 70 acres of swampland, while the rest is gently sloping uplands.
The forest is the site of Kentucky's first carbon sequestration project. More than 500 acres of agricultural land have been planted in hardwood seedlings. As time goes on, more and more of the agricultural land will be turned back into bottomland hardwood forest. This is the only state forest that has significant amounts of bottomland hardwoods and swampland, which makes it a valuable addition to the state forest system. This property is also important habitat for the Copperbelly water snake, which is fairly rare. Part of the management of the property will be to improve and expand this habitat.