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To enhance the visitor’s outdoor recreation experience, John James Audubon State Park has over 6 miles of hiking trails to explore. From easy to moderate in difficulty, from paved passageways to rugged hills and walking paths, there is a trail to please everyone. Most of Audubon’s trail system is within a dedicated Kentucky State Nature Preserve, meaning our pristine forest has been recognized for its natural significance and is protected by law for scientific and educational purposes. When you come to enjoy the natural beauty of the trails, please help us protect our woods for future generations by adhering to Park and Preserve rules.

Trails Within Nature Preserve

Museum Trail

(.25 MILES)
The Museum Trail is a short .25-mile loop trail that begins behind the Audubon Museum. This is the easiest trail at the Park and features interpretive signs along its course. To walk this trail, follow the service road to the right of the Museum and then turn left behind the Museum and you will see the trail head sign. Most of this trail is paved.

Pawpaw Valley Trail

(.25 MILES)
This newly-named connecting trail provides a short hike along a lush streambed valley, drawing its moniker from the many young Pawpaw trees growing in the area. To access this path, you may enter from the Museum Trail and proceed down a slowly curving hillside to the valley floor. Continue straight toward a steady ascent to the trailhead. Make sure to stop for a close-up view of the magnificent Tulip tree at the top of the trail! From here you can follow the gravel service road left to join Warbler Road, or right to arrive in the corner of the Museum employee parking lot.

Deer Ridge Trail

(0.3 MILES)
This enjoyable hike connects the Museum Trail and Kentucky Coffeetree Trail. Follow the Museum Trail to the Deer Ridge entrance. As you hike, you will find this trail is aptly named, for you are traversing high atop a ridge which follows the edge of the Audubon property. Despite a little traffic noise from the nearby highway, hikers can observe deer and will frequently hear songbirds along this trail. The path takes a right turn and descends through a tunnel of Pawpaw trees to twist around a corner and emerge upon the forest floor. After crossing the bridge, Deer Ridge Trail ends and connects with Kentucky Coffeetree Trail, where a right turn will lead you back towards the Museum.

Kentucky Coffeetree Trail

(0.5 MILES)
The beautiful half-mile Kentucky Coffeetree Trail must be accessed through other trails. To begin your hike, follow Warbler Road about .3 miles and take a left (this begins Wilderness Lake Trail). You will walk to an intersection of three trails—take the middle branch to proceed onto Coffeetree. From here you will traipse along a ridgetop and can observe far down the hillsides, where you’re sure to see springtime wildflowers. The Trail then leads you steadily downward toward a lush valley. Turn left and follow along the streambed. This area tends to get a bit muddy, which makes it a great spot to observe animal tracks left by deer and raccoon. Pass through the big tree, cross the bridge, and veer left to join Pawpaw Valley Trail. You’ll soon find yourself back to Warbler Road. Your combined hike distance will be approx. .9 miles.

Woodpecker Trail

(0.4 MILES)
Audubon State Park is home to seven species of woodpeckers, many of which can be seen on this trail. The Woodpecker Trail is .4-mile in length. To walk this trail, start walking on Warbler Road. Take the first left (a short gravel service road) to connect with Pawpaw Valley Trail, which descends to a lush valley. Turn right to cross the bridge and follow the long steady climb up Woodpecker Trail. At the top of the hill you can return to the Museum by taking the Kentucky Coffeetree Trail or by taking a right on the Wilderness Lake Trail and then another right onto Warbler Road.

Warbler Road

(0.7 MILES)
This road is named after the 20 different species of warblers that can be seen and heard at the Park in spring and summer. Warblers are small, colorful migratory birds that inhabit the Park during the breeding season. This road is also an enjoyable walk to see early spring wildflowers. Many of our trails either begin or end at some point on this paved road. Although it serves as a connector between our parking area and trailheads, many visitors find it to be a rewarding walk by itself. This .7-mile road begins at the main office parking lot and ends at the Wilderness Lake trail head. It is open to foot travel only.

King Benson Trail

(0.3 MILES)
The King Benson Trail is named for a former naturalist that worked at Audubon State Park. This relatively easy trail has illustrated interpretive signs that refer to the natural history of the Park as well as the artwork of John James Audubon. It is .3-mile in length and begins at a set of steps off of the main office parking lot. Once the trail winds around and joins Warbler Road, hikers will take a left and follow the road back to the parking area.

Wilderness Lake Trail

(1 MILE)
The Wilderness Lake Trail boasts a beautiful 13-acre lake nestled deep within the Nature Preserve. To hike this one-mile trail, proceed about .3 miles along Warbler Road, turning left at the Wilderness Lake trailhead. Upon arriving at an intersection of three trails, veer to the right. After a short downward traverse, the trail will turn left at a shelter that was originally built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and recently restored through an Eagle Scout Project. You will follow a ridge and eventually descend to the lake using a steep stairway.

The trail winds around the lake providing a good opportunity for wildlife viewing. A variety of birds including great blue herons, green herons and belted kingfishers can be observed along the bank as well as other wildlife including white-tailed deer, beaver and basking turtles. The trail is also one of the best in the Park for observing a diversity of spring wildflowers. At the end of this trail, there will be a steady incline that will lead back to Warbler Road. Follow the road back to the parking area. Total combined hiking distance is 2 miles.

Scenic Overlook Trail

(0.22 MILES)
The Scenic Overlook Trail is a short trail that diverges from the Wilderness Lake Trail at the Civilian Conservation Corp shelter. This .22-mile trail provides a rewarding view of the Wilderness Lake from above. Hikers will have to return using the same route.

Backcountry Trail

(1.6 MILES)
For the more experienced hiker, the Backcountry Trail provides welcome solitude. This trail travels over hilly terrain in the rich northern part of the Nature Preserve. Although the Backcountry Trail is 1.6-miles in length, it must be accessed using Warbler Road and the Wilderness Lake Trail, making a combined loop hike of about 2.8 miles.

Trails Outside Nature Preserve

Eagle Glenn Pet Trail

(0.9 MILES)
The Eagle Glenn Pet Trail is the only trail in the Park that allows leashed pets. This loop trail was designed and installed through an Eagle Scout Project in 1996. The trail begins at the end of the Museum parking lot where it proceeds downhill. Soon you will come to a split in the trail that marks the beginning of the loop. This .9-mile trail is hilly and fairly difficult due to the amount of steps.