The Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund purchased 1,332 acres in two tracts out of a total 6,775 acres on this Wildlife Management Area.
Yellowbank Wildlife Management Area is 85% forested, 11% open fields and pastures, 3% wetland and 1% open water. It is located adjacent to the Ohio River and one tract purchased with KHLCF funding is mostly early successional second growth forest and riparian forest bordering Town Creek and the other has a variety of habitats ranging from dry upland forests with cliffs to riparian forests and riparian or wetland communities along the Ohio River. In the mesic acidic forests the spring wildflowers can be profuse and abundant with large patches of blue-eyed mary, wood poppy, recurved trillium, Virginia spiderwort, jack-in-pulpit, bloodroot, stone crop, wild comfrey, false dandelion, and veined skullcap. More than 159 plant species including state special concern species French’s shooting star have been observed. In addition, 40 breeding birds, 13 mammals including federally endangered gray and Indiana bats and the state listed Rafinesque big-eared bats, and 58 species of reptiles and amphibians including the state special concern green tree frog. There are a variety of forested habitats on the management area ranging from upland acidic sub-xeric forest dominated by white oak, tulip tree, sugar maple, black gum, scarlet, black oak and northern red oak, sassafras, shagbark and mockernut hickories to acidic mesophytic forests of the ravines and lower slopes dominated by sugar maple, white ash, black walnut, American elm, beech, tulip tree, white oak, shagbark and pignut hickories. Riparian forests along river are dominated by box elder, black walnut and hackberry with some black locus and black cherry. One small section of the area has rock shelters and dry sandstone cliffs. Mudflat/sandbar communities along the shoreline are dominated by false indigo, silver maple, sandbar and black willow with buttonweed, water willow, anglepod milkvine, bur-cucumber, old-field aster, mugwort, riverbank goldenrod, Jerusalem artichoke and eastern lined and goblet asters. The backwater sloughs are dominated by buttonbush and silver maple, with basket oak, sugar berry, boxelder, green ash, sweetgum, and sycamore.
There are multiple access points for this site for more information please visit Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources for maps and more information.
Open to the public daily according to statewide wildlife management area regulations with some noted changes including special restrictions for deer hunting. Hiking trails across from information station on Hwy 259 and a 1.2-mile loop trail accessed from center of WMA are open dawn to dusk. A 20-stop archery trail (¾ mile loop) located at the end of campground is open to public. Fishing is allowed in area ponds and on Yellowbank Creek, and the ramp at creek, which allows access to Ohio River. Tract 1 is closed from October 15 through March 15 as a waterfowl refuge. Primitive camping is allowed on designated sites only.