Raven Run Short Loop

Lexington, KY
Length: 2.00 mi.
Type: Lollipop

About This Trail

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This short loop is one of our favorites and is particularly good for little legs. It has a little bit of everything, minus the worry about drop offs.


In the summer months, this is a huge favorite of the kids due to a water crossing and that it is almost all shaded. During the spring this trail may not be appropriate due to water levels and water currents that might easily knock over toddlers/kids. If it’s been raining, it maybe a good idea to double check with park staff on the water levels. When the water levels aren’t high, this is a great place to spot salamanders and newts in the water. In the colder months, it can be very slick due to ice.

You will want to follow the wood chip path behind the visitor center to the start of all the trails. This will take you to a road and a large barn that you will have to keep going past. Be aware, there is often piles of rocks just past the barn that like to suck children in to the magical rock mountains. Staff would like kids to stay off the rocks, so you may need to start a game of who can get to the trail head sign first before the barn ends. Once you get to the start of the woods you will see trail signs to the right and left for the red trail. Following the red trail to the right will take you to the Overlook, for this hike, you do not want to go that way. Please turn to the left and stay on the red trail, passing a gravestone on the left pretty soon after starting on the red trail.

Follow the red trail until you reach the first trail intersection on your right, after about 0.07 miles. There will be a sign for the blue trail pointing to the right, please turn and follow the blue trail. Soon after turning onto the blue trail you will pass the Moore Spring on the right. Keep following the trail. It will start to get more rocky and heading down hill. There will be spots to the right that aren’t really drop offs, but are a bit steeper sections of downhill areas that you may want to keep an eye on newer walkers. The stream crossing comes up at around 0.28 miles. Kids often love to explore here. Just try to remind them to look for newts and salamanders and not to overturn rocks since many lay their eggs there.

At the stream, you have the option of turning around and going back you came, or continuing across and finishing the loop. There isn’t a lot of elevation change on this loop and it’s often not too muddy or rocky. you will follow the stream for a good section of the loop once you cross over it. You’ll soon come to another intersection after crossing the stream. This is where the blue trail intersects the red trail again. You will want to make a left onto the red trail and continue along with the stream. For kids who love bridges, they will get to cross the stream again on a nice longish bridge. There will be a bit of an uphill section after crossing the stream again. This elevation change isn’t steep. Unfortunately, the rest of the trail doesn’t have any highlights. It will be about 0.46 miles back to the start of the loop. You will be able to see the visitor center soon after you make the slight climb up. Don’t be fooled, it’s a teaser and you still have a bit to go before you make it back to the intersection with the blue trail where you started. You will see the blue trail on the left and soon after that, back at the start of the trail where you will want to turn right and head back to the visitors center (again maybe racing past those oh so tempting rocks).


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Trail Features

Seasons Fall, Spring, Summer, and Winter
Surface type Dirt
Elevation gain 63 ft.
Stroller friendly No
ADA accessible No
Water fountains Yes
Bathrooms Yes
Cell reception Spotty
Pet friendly No
Nearby convenience store No
Camping Nearby No
Emergency support
within 5 miles

Trail highlights

Creek / River, Mud Puddles, Picnic Area, Shaded Hike, Shelter, Viewpoint, Visitor Center, Waterfall, and Wildlife Viewing

Nature Center
Kentucky River Overlook
stream crossing
Bridge crossings

Fee & Parking Details

Fee : $0.00

There is a paved parking lot with grass parking spots if those are full. The Nature Center and start of the trails are about 1/8 of a mile walk from the parking lot along a sidewalk.

Trail Contributor

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Keira has always been an active outdoors person, either through her love of hiking or riding horses. She is a mom of 2 boys, a pre-kindergartener and a toddler. She and her husband, Jon, can be found exploring trails in Westchester County NY and surrounding areas as well as traveling the US and trying to visit all the National Parks with their boys.



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