About the Refuge

Leaf 512x219

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 new refuge. It 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 National Wildlife Refuge protects, manages, and enhances this ecosystem and healthy and viable populations of wildlife found here through habitat and wildlife management, environmental education, and cooperative partnerships with conservation agencies and landowners.

You can click here to watch a video about the Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge.