John Holder Hiking Trail, KY

The John Holder Trail traverses the only portion of the Preserve open to the public. This trail lies on land settled by Kentucky pioneer Col. John Holder and the trail bears his name. Holder,  made his mark as one of the heroic defenders of Fort Boonesborough.

This trail is 1.4 miles long (out and back 2.8 miles). The trail follows segments of several old roads including the Athens-Boonesboro Turnpike, the Salt Springs Trace and Holder’s Road. It is now open to the public every day from sunrise to sundown. The trail head is to the right of Halls Restaurant, located at 1225 Athens Boonesboro Road, Winchester, KY. Look for the signs. Trail parking is available in the parking lot behind Hall’s Restaurant. Trail brochures are available at a kiosk about 50 feet up the trail or click here to download and print.

John Holder was a commercial-industrial innovator involved in far-sighted business enterprises. Under Holder’s leadership, the settlement he established at the mouth of Lower Howard’s Creek grew to include a store, tavern, boatyard, ferry, warehouse and mill. His landing on the Kentucky River became a major departure point of flatboats bound for New Orleans with Kentucky produce. Because other developers followed Holder’s lead, Lower Howard’s Creek became one of the first industrial areas of Kentucky. Much of the area is now enclosed in the Lower Howard’s Creek Nature & Heritage Preserve.

If you’ve hiked the John Holder trail, we’d love to hear about your trip!

If you’d like to go here are the directions:

(Driving North on I-75)

-Take exit 97 to Boonesborough Rd.

-Turn RIGHT off of the exit

-Follow this road for apx. 3 miles

-Turn RIGHT onto State Hwy 1924

-Take an immediate RIGHT onto 418

-Your destination will be on the right

-You will see a restaurant called “Hall’s on the River”

*Parking for the trail is in their lots and the trail head is at the entrance of the main lot.

If you decide to grab a bite while there, try the fried green tomatoes – to die for!

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