The area in Hancock County known as Jeffreys Cliffs is located four miles east of the county seat of Hawesville KY. in what is known as the Skillman Bottoms, a large area of river bottom land in a “horseshoe” bend of the Ohio River. Along the river in the area are located the Cannelton Locks and Dam, the American Municipal Power hydroelectric power plant adjacent to the dam, and the Domtar Paper Company. The rest of the area is devoted to agriculture. The cliffs formation is about three quarters of a mile from the river and it consists of a sandstone plateau, rising out of the surrounding lands like an island. The cliff base elevation is approximately 550 ft. and the highest point on the top is elevation 700 ft. They are made of sandstone put down over time when the area was a receding inland sea and their current configuration is the result of erosion over eons by the water and the river. The cliffs average height is 100 to 125 feet and measuring approximately 4 miles around the base. The formation runs in a generally northeast to southwest direction and is approximately one and one-half miles long. There are 140 +/- acres of woodlands on the top of the cliffs and the only natural access to the top is from the south via a natural sloping area. In the 1800s a passage was made through the sandstone rock to make a road suitable for wagons. There are several large caves or rock shelters around the base of the cliffs.
Hancock County Fiscal Court has established 5 miles of hiking trails that are considered easy to mostly moderate. The preserve is open from sunrise to sunset Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Monday through Thursday, the areas is available by appointment only. Contact 270-927-8137 or 270-927-9794 to visit Monday – Thursday.
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