by Abbie Gordon, Philanthropy Program Specialist
It was a cloudy but beautiful day in August as our Kentucky Chapter staff stepped out of the office and onto the trail for a two-mile hike in Laurel County. We traveled across the state to London, Kentucky, near the location of the Adams Tract to see the Chapter’s most recent land acquisition.
The Nature Conservancy purchased the Adams Tract last winter at the Laurel County Master Commissioner’s Sale. Acquired thanks to the Imperiled Bat Conservation Fund, the property contains about 100 acres along Sinking Creek, a tributary of the Rockcastle River which boasts clean waters that support globally endangered freshwater mussels and other natural diversity.
Once on the trail, we headed into the heart of the Adam’s Tract towards Sinking Creek. Though rain wasn’t predicted until the afternoon, showers began shortly after we began and continued until we stopped for lunch under a large rock wall just off the trail.
After lunch, we reached the edge of Sinking Creek. The rain stopped and it was a warm, sunny afternoon from that point on!
At Sinking Creek, several in our group were quick to throw their shoes off and cool off in the water. Others hiked uphill to explore a massive cave formation. Some played Frisbee and a few boldly climbed a large rock looking out over the water. We waded, explored, hiked, combed for wildlife, skipped rocks, chatted and laughed for what seemed to be hours.
As the newest staff member, I was thrilled for the chance to break in my hiking boots and become immersed in the field. The two-mile hike (both ways) and the adventure in between was a rewarding way to experience firsthand the true value of the Conservancy’s mission and witness the results of our work here in Kentucky. We even caught various glimpses of surrounding wildlife!
Although this outing marks my first time out at one of the Conservancy’s Kentucky nature preserves, I am eager to continue exploring the vast natural areas that our Chapter has protected. II hope you will, too! Visit our website to experience Kentucky’s great places for yourself.