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McConnell Springs, Lexington

#4 of 10 in Historic Sites in Lexington
Historic Walking Area · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
Experiencing nature is a vital part of the McConnell Springs adventure. Wildflowers wave in the breeze and greet visitors to the site as they emerge from the locust grove and enter a clearing at the rim of the Town Branch valley. To the left is a grassy slope leading to the pond wetlands. To the right is an accessible trail to the natural spring where green water plants flourish year round. Directly ahead across the brush-covered valley stand two towering bur oaks — mute witnesses to the McConnell exploring party more than two centuries ago.

A wide variety of plants flourish in The Springs from the delicate wetlands on the east boundary to the old quarry on the west. Restoration of vegetation at the site has focused on plants native to the area. Trees line the boundaries of the park and serve as a buffer between parkland and the neighboring urban landscape.

Underneath The Springs, limestone bedrock is honeycombed with crevices that allow water to slip through and eventually emerge as a natural spring — The Blue Hole — at the center of the site. An elevated walkway crosses the wetlands area, offering an excellent view of the surroundings while protecting the fragile environment. After flowing just a few yards, this portion of Town Branch runs underground again, only to reemerge nearby as the bubbling Boils beside a natural stone bank. In the west corner of the park stand the remains of a small abandoned quarry from which was taken much of the material to build the oldest structures on the property. Beneath the quarry, the final sink closes the karst window as the stream disappears for a final time.

The park is open daily year-round, Dawn to Dusk.

The Education Center is open

Monday-Saturday: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Sunday: 1-5 p.m.
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McConnell Springs reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
94 reviews
  • We wondered how good this park could be since it is in the middle of an industrial park. It was nice and had easy trails. Worth the time if you just need a fairly quick thing to do.  more »
  • Beautiful spot! My husband and I were visiting Lexington for a few days, and were looking for a relaxing easy walk. This is it! Beautiful area, nice trails, easy walks, and well-shaded. There's also.....  more »
  • McConnell springs park in the middle of Lexington Kentucky is a jewel. Multiple springs, multiple walking paths, and beautiful trees. If you ever want to visit Lexington this park should be on the list to visit. Very secluded and relaxing and the spring water is beautiful. One of the springs is 15 feet deep. Also has a visited center and education area for kids to learn about animals and trees. This park will be on my list to walk and hike on a regular basis.
  • This is a beautiful place to visit, take pictures, learn some history, and just experience nature in the middle of Lexington. There are a few spots where you are aware of the outside world (glimpses of buildings through the trees, the smell of asphalt from a nearby company), but it's mostly secluded and a very peaceful place. Even brought little kids (5 and 3, plus the 9 month old in a stroller - paved pathway!), the trail is short and not at all difficult.
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