The Beauty of Central Kentucky Wildlife Refuge

We Are Temporarily Closed

Effective immediately, the Central Kentucky Wildlife Refuge is temporarily closed for two weeks. We will reevaluate as we approach the end of the two week closure period, with Tuesday, April 14th hopefully being our reopening date.

We did not want to have to close but we believe it is the right thing to do for now.

There are now confirmed cases of coronavirus in Boyle County. We take seriously the Governor’s recommendations of slowing the spread which include social distancing and avoiding public congregating.

When we reopen, visitors must follow these guidelines:
* do not congregate in groups of more than 4 people who do not reside in the same household
* maintain a distance of 6′ between yourself and others
* do not visit the refuge if you or someone you are in constant contact with has recently been or is currently feeling sick

And keep in mind that, until the health department gives us the okay, the portapotty will be closed. Come prepared with this knowledge and ‘do what you need to do’ before you come.

We hope to reopen the trails soon and will keep them open as long as these guidelines are being followed. If these guidelines are not followed, we’ll have to close everything again.

Thank you all for understanding. This is temporary. We really want things to ‘go back to normal’ and we believe temporarily closing will get us back to normal faster.

We’ve had lots of visitors this spring and hope you all will keep coming back and soon as it is safe to do so!

Please Observe Social Distancing

If you are coming for a visit, please be aware that the porta-potty, bird blind and nature center are closed due to COVID-19.


With the nice weather we have had reports of groups gathering at the Central Kentucky Wildlife Refuge. If you are gathering with anyone who does not live in your household you are spreading the virus, threatening the public health and you are undermining the sacrifice that so many others are making.


We all need a little more time in nature right now, so please help us stay open by practicing social distancing. We don’t want to close but will be forced to if groups keep gathering.


CKWR Social Distancing CKWR Social Distancing

Geology Day: March 14 at 10 a.m.

On Saturday, March 14th, the Central KY Wildlife Refuge will host its first Geology Day.  We will meet in the parking lot at 10:00 am.  Participants will make the short walk to the Cheek Nature Center for a short orientation at which time the participants will decide which activities we will choose for the day.  We will offer a tour of an unusual geologic formation that occurs along Carpenter Creek or a walk on the Ridge Trail, Fork Trail, Wildflower Trail, or the Blue Trail.The exact length and nature of the walks will depend on the interest level and abilities of the participants.
We will conclude with a visit to an outstanding collection of rocks, minerals, and gemstones that a neighbor of ours has graciously allowed us to visit.
Participation is free. Participants should wear sturdy shoes and dress for the weather.  As always, this event is free and open to the public and appropriate for children of all ages.

2020 Winter Night Walk on Feb. 22 at 6:00 PM!

Star Gazing
On Saturday, Feb. 22nd, the Central KY Wildlife Refuge will host its inaugural Winter Night Walk.  The event will start at 6:00 pm, meeting in the parking lot and then moving on to an orientation at the Cheek Nature Center.  We will then make the short walk to the meadow by Island Pond where, weather permitting, we will observe Winter constellations and other night sky objects.  We will also take a short walk through the woods to the Woodland Pond to observe nocturnal wildlife.
This event is open to the public and free of charge.  Interested parties should meet in the parking lot at 6:00 pm.  The parking lot is located at 604 Carpenter Creek Rd. in the Forkland area of Boyle County.
Please dress for the weather!
Here are some other upcoming CKWR events, as well:
Mar. 14th     Geology Walk Through Time at 10:00 am
Apr. 4th      Spring Wildflower Walk #1 at 10:00 am
Apr. 18th    Spring Wildflower Walk #2 at 10:00 am
Apr. 25th    Guided Hikes (in conjunction with Earth Day) at 11 am and 1:00 pm

Dec. 21 – Winter Birding Hike

On Saturday, December 21st, CKWR will host a winter birding hike. We will “warm up” by starting at our bird blind. We will then go for a short hike through varied bird habitat. The event will start from the parking lot at 10:00 am. Binoculars are recommended, but not required. As always, dress for the weather. Free and family-friendly!

Second Fall Color Walk for 2019 on Saturday, Nov. 2nd!

Back by popular demand, the CKWR will host a second Fall Color Walk on Saturday, November 2nd at 10am. Come out and see nature’s palette with a walk through woods and open fields. As always, there is no charge for participating and dress for the weather. Meet in the parking lot at 10 am.

2019 Fall Color Walk

71299357_1178886855639442_6519690781152772096_oOn Saturday, Oct. 19th at 10 am, CKWR will host the annual Fall Color Walk. This will be a short walk through the woods and open meadows. Participants will marvel at the colors on nature’s palette. Normally the fall colors reach their peak during the third week of October in the knobs region. However, with the extremely hot and dry summer and fall, this year will be hard to predict. Come down and join us to see how it turns out. A kid-friendly event!

As always, there is no charge for participating and dress for the weather. Meet in the parking lot at 10 am.

2019 Night Walk on August 24th!

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Once a year the Central KY Wildlife Refuge is open to visitors after dark. This year the Night Walk will be held on August 24th. Visitors should meet in the parking lot at 8:00 pm. The exact nature of this walk will depend on the weather. If we have clear skies visitors will have the opportunity to view celestial objects through a telescope. One of the objects that will be viewed is Jupiter and its moons. We will also have amateur astronomers who will lead the visitors on a tour of the constellations. If the weather is cloudy we will go for a short walk through the woods, looking and listening for night creatures. The event will only be cancelled in case of lightning in the area. As usual, visitors should dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes. For this particular event it would be helpful for visitors to bring binoculars and/or a flashlight with a red lens. For more information about this event and the Central KY Wildlife Refuge please visit our website: or visit our FaceBook page.

Birding Hike on May 4th at 9 a.m.



Central KY Wildlife Refuge will host a birding hike on Saturday, May 4th beginning at 9 am. The hike will start with a visit to the bird blind for orientation. Participants will then hike through varied habitat looking for migrating song birds as well as our resident species. The total length of the hike will be about two miles over easy trails. Participants should bring binoculars and dress for the weather.

Upcoming Events for Spring 2019!

The Central Kentucky Wildlife Refuge will host a Beginning Birdwatchers event on Saturday, March 30th. This event is for anyone who would like to learn the basic skills needed to participate in one of the most popular pastimes in America. The event will start at 10 am in the parking lot. We will start with an orientation in the bird blind. After the orientation we will go for a short walk through varied habitat looking for migrating songbirds as well as our resident birds. This event is suitable for children. Participants should provide their own binoculars and dress for the weather.

The Central Kentucky Wildlife Refuge will be hosting our annual Spring Wildflower Walks on April 6th and 20th. Both walks will begin at 10 am and participants should meet near the Martha B. Clay Wildflower Trail on Carpenter Creek Rd. The first walk will be lead by Dr. Anne Lubbers, Professor of Biology at Centre College. The second walk will be lead by Rob Pendygraft, Co-director of Education for CKWR. The trail is level and about a quarter of a mile long, making it suitable for people of all ages. Participants are reminded to wear comfortable shoes and to dress for the weather.

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