Within The Parklands of Floyds Fork, many treasures of the landscape and our natural history lie hidden. Naturalists have chosen over 100 “special places” within the park boundaries that we don’t want you to miss. Next time you’re exploring The Parklands, be sure to stop by and take a look at the nuanced landscape. Within it lies a world waiting to be discovered that will not only introduce or expand your knowledge and appreciate for local natural history, but leave you in awe of the remarkable resources including flora, fauna, history and culture that we have in our area.
Ben Stout House: Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Stout House is approximately 200 years old, and is the oldest man-made structure within The Parklands. Historical research suggests that the house was most likely built during the early 19th Century by Daniel Omer, and sold to Ben Stout, its namesake, in 1876. It was constructed from nearby limestone rock such as that found around Floyds Fork. The signature of Squire Boone (brother of Daniel Boone) even appears on one of the original deeds to the property (although it’s uncertain whether he ever actually visited there). Recently, thanks to a grant from a generous donor, The Parklands has worked to restore this historic home, including exterior renovation and improvements to the interior that will preserve this site for future generations to admire and learn about ways of life in Kentucky during the 1800s. The home will be a gathering spot for hikes and used by The Parklands to interpret the history of human settlement and use of the Floyds Fork valley.
Seaton Valley/Irongate Meadow: Seaton Valley is the largest “landscape room” in The Parklands. Major features include three ridgetop meadows that occupy the highest points with views of the valley below. The Irongate Meadow has a long history. The meadow is what remains of a Robert Trent Jones, Sr designed golf course - Irongate Country Club. The course, when built, was to be an "Augusta of the Midwest". However, it was built long before the Gene Snyder and in the flood plain of Floyds Fork - a recipe for financial failure. The course went through several operators before local businessmen bought the site on the courthouse steps in 1978. They converted the course into a horse stable with bridle paths - evidence of which may still be there today. Today this area is called Seaton Valley and serves as the entrance to Turkey Run Park off Seatonville Rd.
Mary’s Island: After Seatonville Rd., Floyds Fork splits briefly, leaving a small island in the center. The island has been named for Mary Bingham and will be used for agriculture by the property owner, Future Fund Land Trust, a 21st Century Parks land partner. At this time there is no public access to the island. When approaching the island, paddlers should use river left to continue south through Turkey Run Park.
Mussel Shoals: Floyds Fork’s swift-flowing currents cut away at the outer banks and carry sediment downstream. Slower currents over shallower areas cause the sediment to be deposited on the inner banks of the river forming a gravel bar. The bedrock, made of limestone (the Grant Lake formation) and shale, erodes and releases fossils that the stream deposits on the gravel bars. The Grant Lake formation is filled with fossils, such as brachiopods, bryozoans, cephalopods, clams, and gastropods. Mussel Shoals is a great gravel bar towards the bottom of the Boone Bottoms Trail loop.