An Unexpected Patch of Beauty: McConnell Springs

A look at McConnell Springs in Lexington, KY.


Located in Lexington, surprisingly close to an industrial zone, McConnell Springs is a hidden gem everyone needs to visit. The business heard above from all the critters flying around and singing, and the water dropping and running made the ambiance remarkably pleasant; it’s so serene. The trail includes signs of what it is you’re specifically seeing; whether that is the rock fences or the boils, the information includes a description or history of it.

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  • All around the perimeter of the park there are things such as trains, construction company offices, and roads. Although there’s noise everywhere around, it was pleasantly placid, the only loud sounds there were the birds chirping to each other or the running water from the final sink.

  • This is a rock fence that has most likely been untouched since it was built by Irish masons between 1830 and 1880. These are seen everywhere in the Lexington area.

  • The rock quarries were used to get limestone and bedrock which is what the rock fences were built from.

  • This is the Blue Hole; it’s called this because the depth of the water extends past 15 feet which makes the color appear very blue.

  • The reason the Blue Hole is here is because the groundwater from the limestone and bedrock, seen above, seeps into this area and collects here. The Blue Hole is very sensitive to rainfall levels and activity of man; this photo was taken on 4/25/21 which was a day right after a rainstorm.

  • This is the 2nd spring of the McConnell Springs’ system, called “The Boils.” After it rains, the water can rise up to 24 inches.

  • Here’s a different angle of “The Boils.” This and the Blue Hole are considered “artesian” springs which are when the water pressures from below is strong enough to keep the water up to the surface.

  • The Final Sink, which is at the end of the trail, was incredibly boisterous. The sink extends to about 1/3 of a mile which then ends up at Wolf Run Creek and then further runs into Elkhorn Creek. This water eventually ends up in the Kentucky River.

  • Around the park there are signs near trees and plants native to KY, for example this is Eastern Redbud. There were signs all around telling you what the plants were called and their scientific names.

  • Wetlands act like a sponge by absorbing excess water caused by run-off from large storms; they protect surrounding areas from flooding. Here is a family of geese going for a swim. I thought the baby geese were so adorable. Unfortunately, one of the parents kept blocking my view in order to protect it.

  • A volunteer, I. Cochran, is weeding the plants near the entrance. McConnell Springs is a non-profit organization that relies on volunteer work and our courtesy to keep the park clean.

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Now you can see the hidden beauty of McConnell Springs. I’d recommend anyone interested in nature and the history of Kentucky to go and visit!

Welcome to McConnell Springs!