Cove Spring Park & Nature Preserve
Frankfort, Kentucky

Potential Activities




Kite flying

RC Airplane flying


Dog Walking

Bird Watching

Hiking Trails
Holly Trail - 0.76 Miles
Meadow Loop -0.29 Miles Raceway Spur - 0.16 Miles
Spring Spur - 0.31 Miles
Upland Trail - 0.25 Miles



Waterworks Ruins

Endangered species Braun’s Rockcress

Frankfort Parks


       Hurst Falls
Cove Spring Park and Nature Preserve reopened to the public in 2002 after being closed since the 1800s. Originally, the area served as Frankfort’s first public water supply but slowly fell into disrepair after its municipal use was discontinued. In the late 20th century a private owner began restoring the property before ultimately selling the land back to the city. After completing further restoration, adding park facilities and cutting some trails, the city opened that park to the public. Essentially, the park is a large grass meadow surrounded by ridges and draws that together with the dam at the head of the park held a municipal reservoir in the 1800s.


Today, the park offers a nice mix of amenities that should provide broad appeal for multiple interests. For historians, the site still contains remains of the original water works in various stages of restoration or disrepair. The most prominent artifacts are the stone dam and limestone overflow tower, but other waterworks ruins can be found throughout the 100 acre park. The park also contains six hiking trails. Although most trails are short in length, the Upland and Holly Trail loop provides a nice one mile hike with a semi-strenuous summit to a cedar and hardwood laden ridge and subsequent decent back into the valley floor. The center of the park is a big open meadow that would be a great place to throw a Frisbee, walk a dog, fly a kite or perhaps play a team sport with friends. The trail head has several gazebos with picnic tables, restroom facilities and a wonderful limestone waterfall. In good weather, the park is a great place for a family gathering and picnic.

There’s plenty to offer nature lovers here as well. The park materials indicate that over 200 species of native plants and animals have been identified in the preserve. These species are said to include wild turkeys, deer, bats, frogs, turtles and even a great blue heron. Bird watching is an option all year long, but the warmer months should provide good expanded wildlife spotting opportunities in the variety of available habitats. Wild flowers are abundant and older hardwoods can be found in the lowland areas. The preserve even includes an endangered species called Braun’s Rockcress.

   The remnants of the stone dam and overflow structure

 A large grassland meadow delights the young
The Park is definitely worth a visit if you live within an hour or so from Frankfort or anytime you happen to find yourself in the area. Visiting from more distant areas can be worthwhile when combined with stops at one or more of Frankfort’s other attractions like the Switzer Covered Bridge or Capital facilities.