Hillman Heritage Trail, Kentucky

Located in Hillman Ferry Campground, portions of the trail follow a long-abandoned road that once carried old cars, wagons, and horses to the Tennessee River at Hillman Ferry.

National Recreation Trail

Designated in 1975

• View more details for this trail
in the NRT Database

• Learn about the NRT Program.

The 5.47 miles of trails within the Hillman Ferry Campground Woods are listed as a Heritage National Recreation Trail. The trails are open for hiking and biking only. The trail system often follows old historic roads used by the former Star Lime Works community which was the site of a thriving lime industry that began sometime before the Civil War. The community survived through changes in lime works ownership and many economic fluctuations in the production of lime and limestone until it was disbanded sometime after 1945 due to the construction of the Kentucky Lake Reservoir.

Star Lime Works is being recorded as a historic district. The remaining cultural features, landscape, and history are just beginning to be portrayed through interpretive stops along the trail.

Along the trail, you’ll discover a couple of mysterious concrete structures, including a tunnel that slopes underground near the Rock Quarry. Workers digging out the quarry in the early 1940s used an intricate system of conveyors and hoppers. Other structures remaining include a large concrete building shell that was a part of the conveyor system and a few old concrete pilings that may have held up a part of the belt.

  • Bohanon Loop (Yellow) – At 2 miles in length, this is the longest of the trails in this system. This main loop trail provides
    access to Brown Spring Loop, James Nickell Loop, and Vogle Loop via connector trails. This trail takes you up and over
    ridgelines and offers users an excellent opportunity to view wildlife.
  • Brown Spring Loop (Red) – This 0.66-mile trail winds its way through mature hardwood stands and meanders up and down
    ridgelines. This trail can be used for a short hike or can be linked up with the James Nickell Loop or Bohanon Loop to add to
    the length of your hike. This trail can be accessed via Bohanon Loop or the Trailhead near the boat ramp in Area A.
  • James Nickell Loop (Blue) – This trail is 0.48 miles in length and leads hikers to a scenic overlook of Kentucky Lake. The trail
    follows the ridge top along the edge of Kentucky Lake and then dips back into the bottoms. This trail is accessible via the
    connector trail from Brown Spring Loop.
  • Vogle Loop (Green) – Notice the heritage markers along the way on this 0.94-mile trail that takes you to a primitive rock beach on Kentucky Lake. Vogle Loop is accessed via Bohanon Loop. Vogle Loop takes hikers past an old homesite and limestone quarry associated with the Star Lime Works District. Stop along the way to learn about the history of the area.

If you are not camping at Hillman Ferry Campground, you need to register at the Hillman Ferry Gatehouse before beginning your hike.

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