Boone County Cliffs, a Nature Conservancy property and the 230-acre Middle Creek Park, a Boone County Parks property, are nestled in the wooded hills of western Boone County, Kentucky. While spring migration is just about over by this date, at least 13 species of warblers and many other song birds breed along Middle Creek The whole region is forested, but the Boone County Cliffs particularly contains some old-growth forest habitat reliable for breeding Worm-eating Warblers which is generally rare in most of our region. Other breeding forest birds are also expected, including Broad-winged Hawk, Cerulean, Hooded and Kentucky Warblers, Ovenbird, Louisiana Waterthrush and both tanagers. Middle Creek, which flows through the area, is loaded with Northern Parulas, Yellow-throated Warblers and numerous other breeding birds. Prairie Warblers & Yellow-breasted Chats are common in adjacent successional areas.
Our trip leader, experienced and skilled birder and long-time ASO advocate Ann Oliver, plans to spend some time birding Middle Creek Park, then drive and make a few stops along picturesque Middle Creek Road. Middle Creek Road is an excellent birding spot, but it is narrow and has limited space to pull off. Nonetheless we should be able to walk a good bit of this lovely secluded road. From the parking lot at Boone County Cliffs, Ann will lead us up the trail to where the steep cliff trail begins its ascent. At this point Ann will “officially” end the trip. The climb from here on up to the top of the cliffs is steep and arduous and once on top will take at least another hour to complete the trail. Ann, or others, may decide to go for it at the time, but don’t feel obligated if you’re not up to the task. We will have had a good long morning filled with birds by this time. So if the thought of that strenuous climb was keeping you from participating, rest assured that the walking on this trip would be classed as moderate, not strenuous. Note also that there are no restrooms in any of these places. If nature calls you’ll have to drive back to civilization or find a quiet spot. The trip will probably run to about noon. Contact Ann if you have any questions.
Directions to Middle Creek Park:
From I-75: from I-75 take Kentucky 18, exit # 18, at Florence and go west. When you reach Burlington, KY, continue for 6.5 miles to the Middle Creek Park entrance, which will be on your left (south side of KY 18). The entrance is just a short distance past Middle Creek Rd.
Directions from the west: Take I-275 south and cross the Ohio River. After crossing the river take the first exit, which is KY 8, exit # 11. Turn right (west) onto KY 8, which immediately becomes KY 20 after a short distance. Continue west and then south on KY 20 for about 12 miles. At the intersection with KY 18, turn left or east onto Ky 18 and go about 1 mile. The entrance to Middle Creek Park will be on your right (south side of Ky 18). Middle Creek Rd. is just a short distance ahead.