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Hiking and nature walk guide for Lexington

These 8 hiking trails cater to all skill levels in and around town.

Two people hike along one of the Red River Gorge's many trails.

Check out these gorgeous views from the Red River Gorge. | Photo by @billy.hikes

Table of Contents

From quick and easy loops around town to drives that take you to fantastic lakes and mountains, our city has so many options to hit the trail. So lace up your hiking boots, because we’ve compiled a hiking guide for the Lexington area with 8 routes and trails to help you plan your next adventure and experience breathtaking views.

Note: While parks and trails may be listed as open, we recommend checking park websites before visiting for further info, current trail conditions, and safest practices for the area.

Key: Easy = 🥾| Moderate = 🥾🥾 | Hard = 🥾🥾🥾

Blue sky with clouds and a big open field with a path.

Enjoy breathtaking views along Hisle Farm Park’s trails. | Photo provided by Lexington Parks & Recreation


Hisle Farm Park, 3551 Briar Hill Rd.

  • Difficulty: 🥾🥾
  • Length: 3.3-mile loop
  • Wheelchair accessible: Yes
  • Pet-friendly: Yes, leash required

This 280-acre park offers everything needed for hiking and wilderness lovers. With shared equestrian trails, you may get a front-seat view of horses along your walk — just make sure to watch your step.

A view of the Blue Hole at McConnell Springs.

Empower Lexington focuses on protecting our natural systems and ecology. | Photo courtesy of @lexkyparks

McConnell Springs, 416 Rebmann Ln.

  • Difficulty: 🥾
  • Length: 0.6-mile loop
  • Wheelchair accessible: Yes
  • Pet-friendly: No

If you’re looking to get away without actually getting away, this is the perfect option for you. This paved trail is short + sweet, yet secluded enough that you forget the Distillery District is just minutes away.

A women hikes near a creek at Raven Run Nature Sanctuary.

Raven Run offers a diverse set of trails to explore. | Photo courtesy of @VisitLEX

Raven Run, Green Trail | 3885 Raven Run Way

  • Difficulty: 🥾🥾
  • Length: 2-mile loop
  • Wheelchair accessible: Only on Freedom Trail
  • Pet-friendly: No

If you’re looking for a true hiking oasis, look no further than Raven Run Nature Sanctuary. Take the Flower Bowl trail to view some native flora, or our favorite the Green Trail for the quickest route to the Kentucky River overlook.

A distant view of Courthouse Rock at the Red River Gorge.

Courthouse Rock is one of many iconic landmarks at Red River Gorge. | Photo courtesy of @billy.hikes


Red River Gorge, Auxier Ridge Loop | 3451 Sky Bridge Rd.

  • Difficulty: 🥾🥾🥾
  • Length: 6-mile loop
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • Pet-friendly: Leashed dogs allowed outside of the Natural Bridge

The Red River Gorge is the hiking staple of Central Kentucky, featuring 10 trails of varied length and difficulty. Our favorites are the Double Arch, Auxier Ridge & Courthouse Rock trifecta, where visitors can enjoy leaf-peeping in the fall or try out their rock-climbing skills at Courthouse Rock.

A bird's eye view of The Pinnacles.

Just one of the many vast views you can experience at The Pinnacles. | Photo courtesy of @drob12985


The Pinnacles, Eagles Nest Trail | 2047 Big Hill Rd.

  • Difficulty: 🥾🥾
  • Length: 1.8 miles out and back
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • Pet-friendly: Yes, leash required

Take a quick drive down I-75 to enjoy the beauty that are The Pinnacles of Berea. With an elevation of 1,537 feet, hikers will have sweeping views of the East Pinnacles atop Indian Fort Mountain.

Jessamine Creek Gorge

The Gorge Trail leads to a gorge-ous waterfall. | Photo courtesy of @billy.hikes


Jessamine County Nature Preserve, Gorge Trail | 1232 Corman Ln.

  • Difficulty: 🥾🥾
  • Length: 2.1 miles out and back
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • Pet-friendly: No

The Jessamine County Nature Preserve is 155 acres + sits along the Palisades region of the Kentucky River. The Gorge Trail is ~2 miles long and features a beautiful overlook of Jessamine Creek. Late fall is the best time to hike this trail — foliage tends to obscure the overlook during the summer.

Waterfalls at Cove Spring Park.

Majestic views just a few minutes outside of Lexington. | Photo courtesy of Richard Coldiron


Cove Spring Park, Raceway Spur Trail | 100 Cove Spring Rd.

  • Difficulty: 🥾
  • Length: 0.5-mile loop
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • Pet-friendly: Yes, leash required

This 240-acre nature preserve in Frankfort features waterfalls, springs + forested ravines. Out of the three trails in the park, we love Raceway Spur Trail for an easy adventure. The leisurely trail will allow you to explore a waterfall and a historic reservoir dam.

A nighttime view over Cave Run Lake.

Cave Run Lake is a stargazers paradise. | Photo courtesy of @concrete_to_canopy


Cave Run Lake, Knob Overlook Trail | Ky 801 S.

  • Difficulty: 🥾🥾🥾
  • Length: 1.25 miles
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • Pet-friendly: No

Cave Run Lake offers over 36 miles of lakeside hiking trails with picturesque views of Northeastern Kentucky’s Appalachian foothills. If hiking for several days isn’t your forte, check out the Knob Overlook Trail, which gives you sweeping views of the lake.

Get the right gear

Get the most out of your trip with comfortable, handy, and helpful hiking gear:

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