“A fantastic route to see a little of everything the North District has to offer.”
— Ranger Danger
Fall Colors · Lake · Views
Open from dawn to dusk. No off-trail running. Pets must be on a 6' leash or shorter.
This trail gives you ridgeline views, lakeside tranquility, and historic sites reminding us of the days before President Kennedy designated this little bit of KY heaven a National Recreation Area.
Need to Know
The campground has some basics, but any major purchases should be made in Grand Rivers before you enter the park.
From the parking lot on FS110 (the only parking lot open in the winter), head south on the Bohanon Connector
, cross the road and keep heading south. At the intersection with the Bohanon Loop Trail
(yellow diamonds), turn right to head west, then use the Brown Spring - Bohanon Connector
(orange diamonds) to reach the Brown Spring Loop Trail
). Note: At other times of the year a popular starting point the parking lot at the boat ramp and head west off the trailhead for the Brown Spring Loop Trail
By now your legs are probably warmed up. From the boat launch area on Brown Spring Loop Trail
, the trail meanders up and down through the deep woods. After about 1.3 miles, look for the blue diamonds on your right, this is the James Nickell Loop Trail
. This takes you to the best overlook of Kentucky Lake. Continue on your way and you'll start losing elevation and find yourself back in the lowlands; climb back up through the hardwood stands and around miles two turn right to jump back onto Brown Spring Loop Trail
. Keep heading north to connect with the Brown Spring - Bohanon Connector
(Orange Diamonds) and take a right.
At the next intersection head south on the Bohanon Loop Trail
(yellow diamonds). This is the longest loop in the trail and provides the best opportunity in the busy season to find some solace in Hillman. Roughly a mile after starting this portion of the trail, you'll come to another intersection which is blazed with green diamonds. Keep to the west and you'll find yourself on the Vogel Loop Trail. While not the most challenging of these loops, this loop takes you past an old homestead and the remains of the Star Lime Works District quarry. Multiple informative signs on this loop help you to get a picture of the times gone past in this area.
Head back north and east to connect with Bohanon Loop Trail
(staying north and east this time) and return to your vehicle by the Bohanon Connector
(if you parked at the boat ramp continue back along the Bohanon Loop Trail
to the Brown Spring - Bohanon Connector
and turn right to the Brown Spring Loop Trail
to the parking lot).
History & Background
These trails cut through the heart of the old Star Lime Works community which was the site of a thriving lime industry that predated the Civil War. The industry (and the community that supported it) survived through until it was abandoned to the KY Lake project in the mid 1940's.