The Trails

Explore the Preserve

The Preserve has 13 multi-use trails, totaling 37 miles, spread throughout 3,000 Acres of Discovery. Explore The Preserve by traversing our 37 miles of multi-use trails from three trailheads. The trails are designed for hikers, horseback riders and carriage drivers. Cyclists are welcome, but the trails are not specifically maintained for mountain biking. Parking is available at each trailhead.

The Preserve is open daily, sunrise to sunset. Trail use is free for non-equestrian trail users. Donations are welcomed to defer the cost of trail maintenance. 

All trail users are required to sign a property usage waiver—available at the Centre Trailhead and The Inn front desk.

Download Trail Map

Before You Come

Download Trail Map  | Plan Your Visit

For Your Safety

  • Use trails at your own risk.
  • Cell signal is unavailable in most areas.
  • Do not hike alone.
  • Trails pass near steep drops, cliffs and abandoned mine sites. Ensure your safety by staying on marked trails.
  • Parts of Towering Sycamore, Shawnee Run and Pelly may be impassable due to high water after rain events.
  • Hikers and cyclists yield to equestrians on trails.
  • Dogs are not permitted on trails departing from the Centre or West Trailhead.
  • Horse trailers must park in the designated area at The Stable.
  • Hunting and fishing on Shaker Village property is prohibited. Trails travel through protected wildlife and habitat areas. Do not disturb or collect plants, animals, rocks, fossils or remains of human history.
  • No restroom facilities, drinking water or trash receptacles are available on the trails. Portable restroom facilities are located next to The Stable and at Shaker Landing.

 

Centre Trailhead

The Centre Trailhead is located about 1 mile from The Historic Centre and is convenient to the Bird Blind, nature overlook and amphitheater.

Lampton

Trail Rating: Easy
Distance: 2.5-mile loop

Follow historic stone fences bordering the Historic Turnpike east, then turn north alongside Meadow View Barn, a post-Shaker tobacco barn, in a modern agriculture field. The homestretch of the trail is bordered to the north by some of the oldest stone fences on the property and to the south by restored native prairie.

Towering Sycamore 

Trail Rating: Easy
Distance: 1-mile loop

Start north along the paved road to West Lot and The Stable. Cross the bridge, follow Shawnee Run Creek to the right, and you will quickly see large American Sycamore trees with white bark and skeletal look of the upper branches. There are two creek crossings that may be impassable during times of high water.

Pelly

Trail Rating: Moderate
Distance: 5-mile loop

Hike the Historic Turnpike south, upstream along Shawnee Run Creek, after crossing Kissing Bridge. Pass through the culvert under US 68 to access restored native prairie and modern agricultural fields along mostly turf trails with a small wooded section. The culvert may be impassable during times of high water.

Heritage

Trail Rating: Easy
Distance: 1-mile loop

Hike southwest along the Historic Turnpike, past the remains of Shaker grist and linseed oil mills. Cross Kissing Bridge and observe the remains of the dam once used to provide water for the mills downstream. Return along Shawnee Run Creek, the main source of water power for the Shakers, to Centre Trailhead via the paved road. The 0.5-mile section that is handicapped accessible goes out to Kissing Bridge and back.

Anderson

Trail Rating: Easy
Distance: 3-mile loop

Start southwest along the Historic Turnpike, then loop around fields where you can observe a mixture of modern agriculture and restored native prairie. The wire fence to the west marks the border of Shaker Village property, while an historic stone fence borders the northern edge. Take a break at the overlook, then look to the south to see Shaker Village property across US 68.

East Trailhead

The East Trailhead is the most accessible trailhead from The Historic Centre and is located in the southeast corner of the parking lot that services the East Family buildings.

Meadow View

Trail Rating: Easy
Distance: 2-mile loop

Mostly turf trails take you through open restored native prairie, wood lots and farm ponds, where a variety of wildlife viewing opportunities lie around every bend. Observe a back view of Shaker Village’s historic buildings and pass by Meadow View Barn.

Tanyard

Trail Rating: Strenuous
Distance: 6-mile loop

Hike turf trails through open restored native prairie past the historic Tanyard building, where the Shakers tanned leather and pumped water to the Water House located beside Centre Family Dwelling. Bordered by historic stone fences, Tanyard lies mostly in the open sun during the day with a shady picnic spot at about the mid-way point.

Palisades

Trail Rating: Easy
Distance: 1-mile loop

Traverse through the Kentucky River floodplain with views of the Palisades and High Bridge. During winter melts and spring showers, several waterfalls cascade down the Palisades.

River Road

Trail Rating: Strenuous
Distance: 3-mile loop

Carefully cross US 68, then follow an old Shaker roadbed and descend 400 feet to Shaker Landing. Choose to follow the more rugged single track trail through pasture and Palisades cliffs (look for the stone fence turnstyle to your left to join the trail) or take the paved road.

Village Loop

Trail Rating: Easy
Distance: 1-mile loop

Follow the Turnpike, formerly US 68, through the center of the Village, then take gravel paths through The Farm and a gravel service road behind the Village. This leisurely stroll gives you an overview of everything The Historic Centre has to offer, including scenic views of the surrounding restored native prairie and hillsides.

West Trailhead

The West Trailhead is located about 1.5 miles from The Historic Centre and has ample parking for equestrian trailers. The trailhead sits just north of The Stable.

Chinquapin

Trail Rating: Moderate
Distance: 2-mile loop

Crushed gravel quickly turns to single track trail, heading north past the West Lot Wash House to loop through woods dominated by Chinquapin Oaks and other deciduous hardwoods above Shawnee Run Creek.

Shawnee Run

Trail Rating: Strenuous
Distance: 6-mile loop

Trail blazed in white. Traverse woodland trails and turf in the open prairie, then view the Fulling Mill site (the most photographed waterfall, flowing at its highest during winter snow melts and spring rains), an extremely scenic overlook of Shawnee Run Creek at Chimney Rock and a picnic area at an old home site.

Chinn-Poe

Trail Rating: Strenuous
Distance: 1/2-mile one way

Chinn-Poe is only accessed from Shawnee Run and drops down to Shawnee Run Creek through a limestone glade abundant in spring wildflowers and shaded by deciduous hardwood trees in the summer. Pass abandoned calcite mines to the east of the trail with caution as there can be a drop of several feet.

West Lot

Trail Rating: Easy
Distance: 3-mile loop

Follow the gravel road north until the trail turns to turf and takes you to an overlook of the restored native prairie bordered by woodland to the north and east. Look for raptors perched along the power lines and watch for white-tailed deer watering in the ponds or feeding in the prairie.