Hike the Joyce Bender Trail in the Crooked Creek Nature Preserve

Joyce Bender Trail Parking - Search Nearby - Added by Kristian Conway

Easy, local hike within a preserve of unique and rare plants.

The Crooked Creek Nature Preserve features many unique and rare plant species including an oak barrens community, oak-hickory forest, and prairie species such as: Big Bluestem, Little Bluestem and Prairie Dock. In addition to these species are five rare plant species including: Starry False Solomon's Seal, White Rattlesnake Root, Slender Blazing-Star, Earleaf Foxglove and Scarlet Indian Paintbrush. 

Starting at the trailhead parking lot, hikers will head due North past the gate and down the mowed trail that is well marked with orange paint. The trail extends along the edge of a barrens area before slipping away into the oak-hickory forest. After approximately a half mile, the trail intersects the back loop. If you desire to gain elevation slowly, it is best to take the left or west leg of the loop first. Upon completing the loop continue along the same route by which you entered. 

While hiking, be mindful of the Preserve and keep an eye out for the rare plants. Also enjoy the peacefulness of the secluded area. For more information go to: http://naturepreserves.ky.gov/...


1.35 Miles RT

Elevation Gain

200 ft Gain




Photography, Hiking

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly

Nearby Lodging

Ashland / Huntington West KOA

Ashland, Kentucky

Huntington / Fox Fire KOA

Milton, West Virginia

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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