Hike to the Kentucky River Palisades



2.4 miles

Elevation Gain

500 ft

Route Type


Added by Ashley Stimpson

The Kentucky River Palisades have been around for 450 million years. It's time you checked them out.

The Tom Dorman State Nature Preserve is maintained by the Nature Conservancy and one of a few preserves in the Kentucky River Palisades ecosystem.

The Kentucky River Palisades loop trail leaves from the 8-car parking lot from both directions and follows an old stage coach trail. There are a few steep climbs, not nothing too difficult. The main hazard here will be losing your footing, as the trail is rocky and uneven. 

At about a mile (no matter which side you started on) you will reach the remnants of an old homestead. Admire then walk past it, toward the river. This is the Knight's Ferry loop (impassable during high-water periods), which will offer you the best view of the limestone cliffs, towering more than 220 feet above the Kentucky River. 

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Know for

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly



Leave a Review

πŸ₯‡Top Contributor

8 months ago

Beautiful day trip from Lexington

A great escape along the Kentucky River near Frankfort and Lexington. Best time is Fall when trees are changing.

Awesome lil hike

Beautiful easy hike with amazing views. I just wanted to add that as a KY State Nature Preserve, I don't think it's technically dog friendly.

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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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.

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