The Raymond Athey Barrens State Nature Preserve was initially 63 acres of land in Logan County dedicated on Oct. 24, 1990. This preserve was named in honor of the man who discovered the site's significance as a natural area. Raymond Athey, a self-taught botanist, freely gave of his extensive knowledge to help in the protection of Kentucky's unique natural areas.
Additional tracts of three and 90 acres were purchased in 1991 and 1994 and dedicated on Feb. 20, 1991 and March 11, 1994, respectively. The 156-acre preserve supports several plant communities with a high diversity of associated species. The barrens are typified by the open-grown post (Quercus stellata) and black jack (Quercus marilandica) oaks that dominate the woodland canopy. Glades occur as small openings within the woods. The soils are characteristically thin with bedrock at or near the surface. Several rare species are known from this preserve, including the prairie gentian (Gentiana puberulenta), a wildflower with vibrant deep blue petals.
Access is by written permission for scientific research only.