About the Central Kentucky Wildlife Refuge

The Central Kentucky Wildlife Refuge is a 500-acre preserve, located 13 miles from Danville in the Parksville knob land and bordering a stretch of the beautiful North Rolling Fork. The refuge is open to all as a protected area for the enjoyment and study of nature in its many fascinating forms — a large, typical area of Boyle County set aside as a permanent sanctuary for plant and animal forms native to Central Kentucky, to be enjoyed by future generations. It is open year-round from dawn to dusk.

If you like the outdoors, you will discover here a chance to escape the crowds and traffic and find enrichment in the simple beauty of nature. Birds, animals, plants and other forms of wildlife may be seen on each visit, and they vary with the changing seasons. See the Trails page for trail descriptions.

Visitors are encouraged to record each visit in the Guest Register near the door of the Mary Ashby Cheek Nature Center. The Center houses information about the area, displays, and educational materials. It is open by appointment. See the Contact Us page.

The Fred Loetscher Bird Blind near the caretaker’s home provides close-up views of feeding birds for study and photography and also includes a Guest Register for recording visitors and numbers of species seen. The feeders are stocked from October through May. During that time, one may easily see 12 to 15 species in a half-hour visit—more during spring and fall migrations. Common resident species include Northern Cardinal, Bluejay, Carolina Chickadee, American Goldfinch, Downy Woodpecker, and White-Breasted Nuthatch, to name a few.

Scheduled wildflower walks, hikes, and star-gazing events are open to the public. See the Events page for dates and times.

The Central Kentucky Wildlife Refuge is a non-profit organization and relies on volunteers and donations for its upkeep. See the Membership and Donations page for more information.

Board of Directors

Board of Directors, April 2018-March 2019       Jim Bredar – Secretary     Melissa Burns-Cusato     Patricia Calvert     Andrew Crown-Weber – President     Brian Cusato     Michael Hamm     Jamie Hester     Matthew Klooster     Anne Lubbers – Scientific Advisor     Mark Morgan     Kay Richardson …

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History of the Refuge “Natural areas are requisite to our way of life, for it is to nature that man frequently turns for inspiration.  Also they furnish the only true background against which to measure the changes that civilization has wrought in our environment.  They often help us to understand and tolerate such changes.  As …

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  1. Terri Smallwood

    Would you recommend this place for elementary school age children. Do you provide tours?

  2. Lana

    I would like to come to the refuge to photograph birds from the bird blind. Are you putting out feed yet? If so, what time do you feed?

  3. Michele Maddox

    I am a homeschool grandmother that would like to take my grandson here for a field trip for his upcoming science project how much is it for a day 2-3 adults 1 child age 8 he is in a ELP that’s why being homeschooled. please advise on how to proceed plus it said appt only for the Mary Ashby Cheek Nature center I would like that also. need all this info for april 29th for arbor day field trip project

    1. CKWR President

      Hello Michele,
      I have sent your information along to our Education Directors. They should be contacting you soon to work out the details of your visit.
      Thanks for your interest in visiting the Central Kentucky Wildlife Refuge!

  4. Brenda

    Is this a place you drive thru to see the wildlife or do you walk thru it? I am from out of town. Thanks

    1. EducationDirector

      You walk through. We have hiking trails you can walk on.

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