The preserve, owned by the Boone County Fiscal Court thanks to funding by the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund, was dedicated as a state nature preserve to protect the unique glacial features and four forest community types that are present there. Initially, 46 acres of land in Boone County were dedicated on Nov. 5, 1987. An additional 29 acres were dedicated on May 16, 1990. The preserve, located along a tributary to Middle Creek, is named for the 20- to 40-foot conglomerate cliffs that outcrop on the valley slopes. The conglomerate is composed of gravel that was deposited as glacial outwash about 700,000 years ago.
- Features - glacial outwash cliffs, spring wildflower display
- Access - 2.4 mile trail over uneven terrain, moderate
- Facilities - none
- Parking - five cars; one bus
- Hazards - steep cliffs
- Activities - hiking, nature study, geological study, birding, etc.
- Directions - Boone County. From the junction of I-75 and KY 18 near Florence, follow KY 18 west for 10.8 miles, then left on Middle Creek Road for 1.5 miles to gravel parking area on left side of road.
Boone County Cliffs State Nature Preserve now requires reservations 24 hour in advance of your visit. Reservations can be made online at boonecountyky.org, if you need assistance making a reservation call 859-334-2117.
The nearby 105-acre Dinsmore Woods unit was also dedicated on May 16, 1990 and is also owned by Boone County Fiscal Court. The preserve protects a relatively undisturbed maple-oak-ash forest in Boone County. Prior to the conservancy's ownership, the woods had been in the possession of one family dating back to the 1830s. The maturity and species composition of this woodland are attributed in part to the fact that it has never been commercially logged. The preserve is adjacent to the Dinsmore Homestead, west of Burlington.
- Features - mature maple-ash forest, spring wildflower display
- Access - 1.7 mile trail, moderate
- Facilities - none
- Parking - limited
- Activities - hiking, nature study, birding, etc.
- Directions - Boone County. From the junction of I-75 and KY 18 near Florence, follow KY 18 west for 11.3 miles, turn left into gravel parking lot for the county horsemen's area. Trailhead is across KY 18.
Visit Boone County's website for maps and more details.