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​​Blue Licks State Nature Preserve

Dedicated Dec. 16, 1981, Blue Licks State Park Nature Preserve consists of 53 acres located within Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park. This area was dedicated into the nature preserves system for the protection of Short's goldenrod (Solidago shortii), a species of plant that is a near-endemic to Kentucky and one of the rarest worldwide. Short's goldenrod is protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

  • Features - globally rare plant, relict bison trail, glade
  • Hiking - 0.25 mile foot path along buffalo trace, easy
  • Facilities - state park
  • Parking - abundant
  • Activities - hiking, birding, nature study, etc.


State nature preserves located within Kentucky state parks are special places with different management priorities. While the parks are there primarily for public recreation, the acreage that has been dedicated as a nature preserve is set aside for the rare, threatened or endangered species and communities that occur there. KNP is focused on management for these species and communities while providing opportunities for scientific research and nonconsumptive recreation. For information concerning the use of state park facilities, programs, recreation opportunities and lodging visit the Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park website.


Blue Licks State Park - Heritage Lands

The Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund has added over 900 acres to Blue Licks State Park to conserve the Licking River watershed and create hiking opportunities. The park is known for the Battle of Blue Licks which was the last battle of the Revolutionary War fought by Daniel Boone and other frontiersmen on August 19, 1782 after Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, Virginia in 1781.  It is also known historically for the salt and mineral licks that attracted large numbers of American bison and European settlers.  In the late 1700’s, settlers would boil water from the area for several days to make salt, which was used to season meals and preserve food.  They could boil enough water in two days to make sufficient salt to last Fort Boonesboro an entire year. But the salts were also an important mineral for the American bison which would migrate to the area by the tens of thousands and in 1800 it was reported that the hills were devoid of vegetation and looked like a desert as a result of the concentration of these large bison herds.  The actual pounding of the earth by these massive mammals, in addition to mastodons and wooly mammoths of times past, created a well worn trace into the soil that is still visible today and along which Short’s goldenrod is found.


Robertson County just north of the Licking River on US 68. From Maysville, take US 68 south 25 miles to park entrance; from Paris, take US 68 north 23 miles to park entrance; from Cynthiana take KY 32/36 east 14 miles to US 68, take US 68 north 9 miles to park entrance. 

Access Type: Open to Public
County: Robertson
Region: Bluegrass Region
Size: 1,125
Owner: Office of Kentucky Nature Preserves

Office of Kentucky Nature Preserves

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Lat: 38.431959
Long: -83.993067
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