About the Refuge
One way to open your eyes to unnoticed beauty is to ask yourself, "What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again?" ~Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder
Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1997 and the first track of land was purchased in 1998. So it is relatively young, but is the only National Wildlife Refuge in the state of Kentucky and is comprised of one of the largest remaining bottomland hardwood forests in the region.
Bottomland hardwood forests are one of the most biologically productive ecosystems on land, and the rich moist soils from seasonal flooding nourish an explosion of wildlife diversity. Freshwater mussels, amphibians, fish, and mammals are all found in abundance here, and migratory songbirds and waterfowl take advantage of this rich habitat on their long flights from nesting to wintering grounds. This diversity and abundance of wildlife provides ample hunting, fishing, and other recreational opportunities. Clarks River NWR protects, manages, and enhances this ecosystem and healthy and viable populations of wildlife found here through habitat and wildlife management, cooperative partnerships with conservation agencies and landowners, and environmental education.