This habitat restoration project is part of the larger Upper Green River Watershed Project which seeks to protect this watershed and provide for passive public recreation. The land was originally approximately 40% in upland forests on the ridgetops overlooking the Green River and the remainder was in agricultural cropland. Today this natural area, which contains approximately one mile of river frontage on a bend of Green and an island, still protects the ridgetop forests but also has 40 acres seeded to native grasses including Indian grass, big bluestem and little bluestem, 55 acres planted to bottomland hardwood forest with pin oak, bur and swamp chestnut oak, black walnut, white ash, and a 12 acre restored wetland. There is also a karst feature on the property that has been mildly impacted with respect to water quality and supports at least 23 taxa of aquatic insects. In the river, 7 mussel species have been documented including the federally endangered clubshell. More than 65 bird species have also been documented from the natural area. The riparian forest along the river is dominated by silver maple, box elder, and shagbark hickory with sycamore and American elm as co-dominants. There is also some American beech, northern red oak, sassafras and flowering dogwood in the plant community. As the forests transition to the ridgetop upland forest hop hornbeam, black cherry, pecan, sweet gum, and witch hazel are found in abundance. The upland ridgetops are classified as calcareous mesophytic forest dominated by sugar maple, American elm, Ohio buckeye, box elder, and hackberry with an understory of bladdernut, spicebush and some native canebreaks. As with most rich mesic forests, the spring floral display can be outstanding with alumroot, bloodroot, blue phlox, wood poppy, columbine, fire pink, jack in pulpit, dwarf larkspur, false Solomon seal, sessile trillium, wild ginger, and Virginia bluebells proliferating. The county has developed 4 hiking trails, mostly easy or moderate in nature, to allow the public to observe the differing habitats and wildlife found in the natural area. In addition to the ecological significance of the site, it also has historical significance and part of Civil War driving trail is on Tebb’s bend road. There is also an 11.6 acre field which served as a campsite for the 25th Michigan Infantry and the banks of the river were used for loading and unloading supplies. There are also numerous signs showing troop movements that were associated with the Battle of Tebb’s Bend which was further down the ridge south of the bridge. The iron bridge which crosses the river was constructed after two covered bridges were burned, one by John Hunt Morgan’s Kentucky Confederate cavalry troops and another in 1907. Today a modern concrete bridge crosses the Green.
Over four miles of hiking trails open to foot traffic only daily dawn to dusk. The parking area is located off Tebb’s Bend Road and can be accessed from Kentucky Highway 55 approximately 7 miles south of Campbellsville. The site is adjacent to the Homeplace on the Green River, an historic farm operated by a nonprofit foundation. An additional trailhead begins near the barns on the Homeplace.