Dedicated Sept. 26, 1983, the Pine Mountain State Park State Nature Preserve consists of two tracts of approximately 980 total acres in Bell County. This preserve is located within the boundaries of Pine Mountain State Resort Park. This area contains an old-growth forest of hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) and white oak (Quercus alba), many of which are 200-300 years old, as well as a significant archaeological site -- a large sandstone shelter known as the Rock Hotel that was inhabited by prehistoric Native Americans. The preserve is part of the Pine Mountain fault block, one of the most prominent geological structures in the eastern United States.
- Features - old-growth hemlocks, fault block mountain, scenic views, rare species
- Hiking - Three miles of trail over uneven terrain, strenuous
- Facilities - state resort park
- Parking - abundant
- Hazards - cliffs, venomous snakes (rare)
- Activities - hiking, nature study, birding, geological study, etc.
Bell County. From Pineville follow U.S. 25E south for 1.5 miles, then right on KY 190 for 1.5 miles, then right on 1491 for 1.5 miles to the Pine Mountain State Resort Park Lodge parking lot.
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 use of state park facilities, programs, recreation opportunities and lodging visit the Pine Mountain State Resort Park Web site.
In addition to the nature preserve, in 2017 the KHLCF funded the acquisition of the park's signature attraction - the Chained Rock.