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Laurel Gorge/Sandy Hook Scenic Drive

Located just a few miles from Sandy Hook, the county seat of Elliot, Laurel Gorge features a typical terrain for the county. Sheer 300 foot high sandstone cliffs, a waterfall and a wide, placid Laurel Creek are the highlights of this miniature biosphere. Countless species of diverse wildflowers also call the gorge home, nestled amongst the rocks and the cooler temperatures that the valley provides. The preserve extends as far as to where Laurel Creek meets the Little Sandy River. At the head of the Laurel Gorge preserve is the Laurel Gorge Cultural Heritage Center, which features exhibits on local history, folklore and folk music.

Directions: Laurel Gorge is located 3.3 miles north of Sandy Hook on old Kentucky State Route 7/32 – also known as Laurel Gorge Curves Road. The Laurel Gorge Cultural Heritage Center is at the head of the trails via a one-lane road that travels underneath the new Laurel Creek Bridge. The Visitor Center is open from Monday through Friday, 10 AM – 4 PM, Saturdays 10 AM – 5 PM. There is parking available at the visitors center, but if the gate is locked, parking is available along Laurel Gorge Curves Road.

Trails: More than three miles of trails grace Laurel Gorge. Intepertative displays highlight native plants and animals throughout, and an observation deck overlooks a towering seasonal waterfall. There is also a wheelchair-accessible boardwalk and wide path that extends for 2/10-mile into a rock shelter. The trail network will eventually stretch for more than six miles when complete.

Laurel Gorge Wildlife Management Area

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