Jessamine Creek Gorge Preserve, Jessamine County, KY
Jessamine Creek Gorge Preserve is truly a "hidden treasure" of Kentucky; it has been for years! Once a 55 acre private preserve purchased and maintained by The Nature Conservancy, part (or maybe all) of it has now been purchased by Jessamine County. According to one source, it is now around 155 acres. This beautiful gorge is a great local hike and is located a short distance from Wilmore, Nicholasville, and Lexington.
There is an approximately 2.5-mile trail that does not go directly to the waterfall, though it does cross the creek that leads there. If you want to view the waterfall, begin at the trail-head and hike until you reach the first main footbridge. There you can hang a right and walk in and along the creek bed until you reach the top of Overstreet Falls. (Please note: the rocks in the creek and along the top of the falls may be very slick and the drop-offs steep. If you plan on bringing children, please watch them closely at all times and hang on to them along the portions of the trail that border drop-offs. Also, the creek may be impassable after heavy rainfall.) Once at the top of the falls, work your way down the footpath on the right to access the lower portion of the gorge and falls.
There are several species of endangered plants and bats in this preserve, so, please observe any posted rules and please leave no trace! In short, please don't ruin it for everyone else by leaving empty beer cans and trash lying around. It's called a preserve for a reason.
From Nicholasville: Take US 27 south of town, turn right on KY 1268 (Bethel Rd) for 2.6 miles. Turn left on Corman Ln. Go 1.1 miles and look for an unmarked parking area on the right.
From Wilmore: Take KY 1268 east (E Main St) for 2.5 miles. Turn right on Bethel Ln to stay on KY 1268. Go another .5 miles, turn right on Corman Ln. Go 1.1 miles and look for an unmarked parking area on the right.