Floracliff’s founder, Dr. Mary Wharton, felt that some natural areas should be protected and set aside primarily for education. This was her intention for Floracliff. Due to her wishes, the steep terrain, and sensitive habitats, Floracliff is not open to self-guided visitation.

The sanctuary is open for guided hikes and programs or by appointment for small groups. There are also weekday volunteer opportunities for trained volunteers.

Please see our calendar of events for upcoming programs.

Weekday private tours may be arranged for small groups of 5-20 people. Tours must be scheduled at least 2 weeks in advance and subject to availability. Private tours are $15/person. Hikes are generally 1.5 – 3 hours depending on the chosen trails. To inquire about a private tour, please email

Floracliff kioskmap 2019sm 2
Click on the map for hi-res version

What to bring on a hike:

  • Please carry a bottle of water with you at all times. Snacks are recommended
  • Footwear: wear appropriate hiking shoes for steep, uneven terrain and stream crossings. Open-toed shoes are not recommended.
  • Clothing: long pants are recommended to protect against poison ivy and briars close to the trail
  • Optional items: raingear and hiking poles

Other considerations:

  • Pets are not permitted.
  • Please stay on designated paths during the tour.
  • Ticks are active year-round, including mild days during winter.
  • Collecting rocks, feathers, artifacts, plants, etc. is not permitted

View our trails

Volunteer Opportunities

We host weekly volunteer days on Wednesday mornings. Volunteer activities may include invasive plant management, trail work, community science, garden maintenance, and other activities as needed. Invasive plant management is an important component of our work to protect native species, and we rely on the help of volunteers. Tools are provided, but volunteers should bring their own work gloves and eye protection.

We also welcome individuals and groups interested in volunteer opportunities outside of our scheduled volunteer days. Please see our Volunteer page for more details.

To learn more about New Volunteer Orientation trainings, please see our Events page.

Research Opportunities

A variety of research projects have been conducted at Floracliff. Through these projects, we have learned more about the biodiversity, ecology, natural history, and stewardship needs of the sanctuary. Past and current research projects include:

      • inventories of plants, herps, birds, invertebrates, bryophytes, and lichens
      • camera trap methods
      • dendrochronology
      • acoustic monitoring of bats
      • soil samples
      • seed collection for conservation
      • impacts of land management

Those interested in research projects at Floracliff are welcome to submit proposals. Most research projects will also require approval by the Office of Kentucky Nature Preserves. Please email for additional information and permit applications.

Facility Rentals

Floracliff has two unique facilities for programming. Currently, the Nature Center is available to rent for weekday meetings, retreats, and programs:

Nature Center

Trail’s End Lodge

Floracliff Nature Sanctuary • P.O. Box 21723 • Lexington, KY 40522 • (859) 296-0986 • • copyright © 2023 •