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This stream, which is a major tributary of the state Wild River, is considered an outstanding resource water by the state and is bordered on two sides by the Daniel Boone National Forest and includes more than 3 miles of stream frontage. The major forest type on the uplands, covering about a third of the acreage, above the stream is a hemlock-mixed forest with a canopy of 50% hemlock and 50% white oak, red maple, sweet birch, tulip tree and downslope with sycamore and American hornbeam. The understory is comprised of American holly, umbrella tree magnolia, and young hemlocks with Christmas fern, intermediate wood fern, and partridge berry in the herbaceous layer. The other major habitat is fairly young Appalachian mesophytic forest with tulip tree, red maple, white and northern red oak, and mockernut hickory in the canopy.  There is some Appalachian pine oak forest on the ridges however this is primarily a thicket as the southern pine beetle decimated the older trees.  The highest quality natural habitat is a gravel/cobble bar in the middle of the stream dominated by hazel alder, stiff dogwood, smooth azalea, and Virginia sweetspire.  More than 284 species of plants,  8 amphibian, 18 butterfly, and 74 birds were documented during surveys.  There are no state listed species found but several uncommon species including Bailey's sedge, mountain camellia, and box huckleberry have been documented.  In addition, just downstream the shells of two federally endangered mussel species have been observed in addition to a patch of Kentucky lady slipper orchids. A portion of the Sheltowee trace national trail crosses the stream via a swinging bridge, one of only two swinging bridges on the trail.


Access:

  Open to the public via the Sheltowee Trace trail.

Access Type: Open to Public
County: Laurel
Region: Eastern Region
Size: 300.97
Owner:
 Office of Kentucky Nature Preserves
Manager:

​Office of Kentucky Nature Preserves

Purchased with Assistance of:
Lat: 37.803545
Long: -83.512573