When European settlers arrived in the Land of Cane and Clover throughout Central Kentucky they were met by an unusual type of landscape in some areas dominated by a savanna-woodland complex where the forest canopy wasn’t as dense and thick as they countryside they had been travelling through. While little to none of this ecosystem exists today because of human alteration of the habitat, particularly at the ground level, there are some patches of the old patriarch trees that dominate the skyline. The Griffith farm has been in production agriculture for more than 200 years and little of the native herbaceous or shrub layer exits because of cattle grazing and crop production; there is a 170 patch of remnant trees that is the best remaining example of Bluegrass savanna-woodland remaining in Kentucky. More than one half of the old, mature trees, ranging from 100 to 400 years old, are blue ash and another quarter of them are chinquapin oak. The national champion chinquapin oak can be found here and measures 76 feet tall with a 69 foot spread and circumference of 311 inches. Other large trees include bur and Shumard oak, shagbark, shellbark, and bitternut hickory, Kentucky coffee-tree, black maple, black walnut, and Ohio buckeye. While most of the understory has been altered there are still some scattered patches of papaw, American plum, American elderberry, Carolina buckthorn, wahoo, pasture rose, and various blackberries. Some herbaceous plants including various wild rye grasses and mayapple, sessile trillium, tall goldenrod, butterfly milkweed, wild hyacinth, yellow trout lily, and golden Alexander have been found in small numbers. Several hundred species of plants and at least 95 species of birds, 73 butterfly and moth species, 28 mammal species, and 13 species of reptiles and amphibians have been observed there. The one significant historical site located here is the old Griffith house built around 1820 that served as an inn and tavern on the road from Lexington to Cincinnati in the 19th century.
Access: There are multiple access sites, please visit Kentucky Department of Fish ans WIldlife Recourses page for maps.
Located at the corner of US Highway 62 and Kentucky Highway 353 with the entrance located approximately 1.4 mile from that intersection on US Highway 62.