Mary Ingles Trail System In Kentucky

Here is everything you need to know about the Mary Ingles Trail System:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Kentucky
  • Length: 3.5 miles.
  • Type: Multi-use
  • Surface: dirt
  • Managed By: National Park Service
  • Permit Required?: No.
  • Website:

The Mary Ingles Trail System holds significant historical importance as it traces the footsteps of Mary Draper Ingles, a courageous pioneer woman who endured a harrowing journey during the mid-18th century. Mary Ingles was captured by Shawnee Indians in 1755 during the French and Indian War in present-day West Virginia. She was taken captive along with her two sons and sister-in-law, and they were forced to march to the Shawnee village in Ohio.

After several months in captivity, Mary Ingles managed to escape with another captive woman named Betty Draper. They embarked on a treacherous journey back to their homes, covering approximately 800 miles through dense forests, treacherous rivers, and harsh terrains. The trail system follows the path they took, allowing visitors to retrace their steps and gain insight into the challenges they faced.

The Mary Ingles Trail System offers a glimpse into the hardships and resilience of early American settlers. It serves as a reminder of the struggles faced by pioneers during a tumultuous period in American history. The trail system not only provides an opportunity for outdoor recreation but also serves as a living testament to the bravery and determination of Mary Ingles and others like her who played a vital role in shaping the nation.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Fort Boonesborough State Park: This is the starting point of the Mary Ingles Trail System. It is located in Richmond, Kentucky, and offers various amenities such as camping, hiking, and historical exhibits.

2. Clay’s Ferry: This access point is located near the Kentucky River in Madison County, Kentucky. It provides access to the trail system and offers parking facilities.

3. Valley View Ferry: Located in Valley View, Kentucky, this access point allows hikers to cross the Kentucky River using the Valley View Ferry. It is a unique experience and provides access to the trail system on the other side of the river.

4. Fort Harrod State Park: Situated in Harrodsburg, Kentucky, this access point offers parking facilities and access to the trail system. The park also features a reconstructed fort and other historical exhibits.

5. Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill: Located in Harrodsburg, Kentucky, this access point provides parking facilities and access to the trail system. The Shaker Village is a historic site with preserved buildings and offers various activities and amenities.

6. Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park: Situated in Carlisle, Kentucky, this access point offers parking facilities and access to the trail system. The park is known for its historical significance as the site of the Battle of Blue Licks during the American Revolutionary War.

7. Augusta River Park: Located in Augusta, Kentucky, this access point provides parking facilities and access to the trail system. It is situated along the Ohio River and offers beautiful views and recreational activities.

8. Maysville River Park: Situated in Maysville, Kentucky, this access point offers parking facilities and access to the trail system. It is located along the Ohio River and provides a scenic starting or ending point for hikers.

These are some of the major access points or trailheads along the Mary Ingles Trail System. There may be additional smaller access points or trailheads along the trail, but these are the main ones that provide parking facilities and easy access to the trail system.

Transportation Available

1. Uber – On-demand ridesharing service.
2. Lyft – Ride-hailing service connecting passengers with drivers.
3. Taxi – Traditional taxi service for convenient transportation.
4. Bus – Public transportation service with fixed routes and schedules.
5. Bike Share – Rental bikes available for short-term use.
6. Car Rental – Vehicle rental service for longer trips or personal use.
7. Shuttle Service – Shared transportation service with designated pick-up and drop-off locations.
8. Train – Rail service for longer distance travel.
9. Airport Shuttle – Transportation service to and from the airport.
10. Trolley – Historic or tourist-oriented transportation service.


The amenities available at the Mary Ingles Trail System may vary depending on the specific location within the trail system. However, here are some common amenities that can be found at various points along the trail:

1. Restrooms: Some sections of the trail may have restroom facilities available for public use. These restrooms may be permanent structures or portable toilets.

2. Parking: There are designated parking areas at different access points along the trail system. These parking lots provide a convenient place for visitors to park their vehicles before starting their hike or other activities.

3. Camping Sites: Some sections of the Mary Ingles Trail System may offer designated camping sites for overnight stays. These sites may have amenities such as fire pits, picnic tables, and access to water sources.

4. Picnic Areas: Along the trail, there may be designated picnic areas where visitors can stop and enjoy a meal or snack. These areas often have picnic tables, benches, and trash receptacles.

5. Interpretive Signs: Throughout the trail system, you may find interpretive signs that provide information about the history, flora, fauna, and other points of interest along the trail. These signs enhance the educational experience for visitors.

6. Trail Markers: The trail is typically marked with signs or markers to help visitors navigate the trail system. These markers may indicate the direction, distance, and difficulty level of the trail.

7. Water Sources: Depending on the specific location, there may be access to water sources such as rivers, streams, or lakes. Visitors can use these water sources for various activities like fishing, swimming, or simply enjoying the view.

8. Benches and Seating Areas: Along the trail, you may find benches or seating areas where visitors can take a break, relax, and enjoy the surrounding nature.

It is important to note that the availability of these amenities may vary depending on the specific section of the Mary Ingles Trail System you are visiting. It is recommended to check with local authorities or trail management for the most up-to-date information on amenities and facilities.

Nearby Services

1. Lodging:
– Comfort Suites South Point – A comfortable hotel located near the Mary Ingles Trail System.
– Hampton Inn Huntington/Barboursville – A convenient hotel option with modern amenities.
– Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Barboursville – A well-equipped hotel offering a pleasant stay.

2. Food Services:
– Bob Evans – A popular restaurant chain serving American comfort food.
– Cracker Barrel Old Country Store – A cozy eatery offering homestyle meals and a country store.
– Panera Bread – A casual bakery-café serving sandwiches, soups, and salads.

3. Emergency Services:
– St. Mary’s Medical Center – A reputable hospital providing emergency medical services.
– Barboursville Police Department – Local law enforcement agency ensuring public safety.
– Barboursville Fire Department – A fire station equipped to handle emergencies.

Mary Ingles Trail System Difficulty Notes

The Mary Ingles Trail System offers a range of difficulty levels suitable for all types of hikers. With its well-maintained trails and clear signage, beginners can easily navigate through the system and enjoy a leisurely hike. The trails are mostly flat and offer gentle inclines, making it accessible for families and those looking for a more relaxed outdoor experience. However, for more experienced hikers seeking a challenge, the system also offers some moderate to difficult trails with steeper inclines and uneven terrain. These trails provide a more strenuous workout and reward hikers with breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. Overall, the Mary Ingles Trail System caters to hikers of all skill levels, ensuring an enjoyable and fulfilling outdoor adventure.

Features And Attractions

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Usage Guidelines

1. Pets must be kept on a leash at all times.
2. Owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pets.
3. Bicycles are allowed on designated trails only.
4. Motorized vehicles are prohibited on the trail system.
5. Hunting or trapping is not allowed within the trail area.
6. Camping or overnight stays are not permitted on the trail.
7. Fires are only allowed in designated fire pits or grills.
8. Littering is strictly prohibited.
9. Alcohol consumption is not allowed on the trail.
10. Use of fireworks or explosives is prohibited.
11. Trail users must yield to equestrians and give them the right of way.
12. Respect private property boundaries and do not trespass.
13. Trail users are encouraged to stay on designated trails and not venture off-trail.
14. Respect seasonal restrictions, such as closures during hunting seasons or inclement weather conditions.
15. Use caution and be aware of potential hazards, such as uneven terrain, wildlife, or fallen trees.
16. Trail users are encouraged to report any maintenance issues or concerns to the appropriate authorities.

Seasonal Information

The Mary Ingles Trail System is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs alike. Located in Kentucky, this trail system follows the path of Mary Ingles, a pioneer woman who was captured by Native Americans in the 18th century. The trail offers stunning views of the Ohio River and takes visitors through beautiful forests and rolling hills.

The best times of the year to visit the Mary Ingles Trail System are during the spring and fall seasons. In the spring, the trail comes alive with vibrant wildflowers and lush greenery. The weather is usually mild, making it perfect for hiking and exploring the area. Fall is equally as beautiful, with the changing colors of the leaves creating a picturesque backdrop. The cooler temperatures make it comfortable for outdoor activities, and the trail is less crowded compared to the summer months.

It’s important to note that the Mary Ingles Trail System has seasonal closures during the winter months. Due to the potential for inclement weather and hazardous trail conditions, the trail is closed from December through February. This closure ensures the safety of visitors and helps preserve the integrity of the trail. However, during the closure, visitors can still enjoy the nearby amenities such as the visitor center, which offers exhibits and information about Mary Ingles and the history of the area.

Overall, the Mary Ingles Trail System is a must-visit destination for those seeking a combination of natural beauty and historical significance. Whether you choose to explore the trail in the spring or fall, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views and a chance to immerse yourself in the story of Mary Ingles. Just be sure to plan your visit accordingly, as the trail is closed during the winter months for safety reasons.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Parking: Designated parking spaces are available near the trail entrances for easy access.
2. Paved Trails: The trail system includes paved pathways, allowing wheelchair users to navigate the trails smoothly.
3. Accessible Restrooms: ADA-compliant restrooms are available along the trail system, ensuring convenience for all visitors.
4. Trail Signage: Clear and visible signage is provided along the trails, making it easier for individuals with disabilities to navigate.
5. Rest Areas: Wheelchair-accessible rest areas are strategically placed along the trails, providing opportunities for breaks and relaxation.
6. Benches and Seating: Wheelchair-accessible benches and seating areas are available at various points along the trail system.
7. Trail Width: The trails are designed to be wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs and other mobility devices.
8. Accessible Trailheads: The trailheads are designed to be accessible, allowing individuals with disabilities to easily enter and exit the trail system.
9. Assistance Animals: Service animals are permitted on the trails to assist individuals with disabilities.
10. Accessible Picnic Areas: Wheelchair-accessible picnic areas are available along the trail system, allowing visitors to enjoy outdoor meals comfortably.

Safety Information

When visiting the Mary Ingles Trail System, it is important to keep the following safety information in mind:

1. Trail Conditions: Check the trail conditions before starting your hike. Be aware of any closures, weather conditions, or potential hazards along the trail.

2. Proper Footwear: Wear sturdy and comfortable footwear suitable for hiking. This will provide better traction and support, reducing the risk of slips, trips, and falls.

3. Hydration: Carry an adequate amount of water to stay hydrated throughout your hike. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, dizziness, and other health issues.

4. Sun Protection: Apply sunscreen, wear a hat, and use sunglasses to protect yourself from harmful UV rays. Even on cloudy days, sunburns can occur.

5. Insect Repellent: Depending on the season and location, insects like mosquitoes and ticks can be present. Apply insect repellent to protect yourself from bites and potential diseases.

6. Wildlife Awareness: Be aware of your surroundings and respect the wildlife. Keep a safe distance from any animals you encounter and avoid feeding or approaching them.

7. Trail Markings: Pay attention to trail markers and signs to avoid getting lost. Familiarize yourself with the trail map and follow designated paths.

8. Emergency Contacts: Carry a fully charged cell phone and have emergency contact numbers saved. Inform someone about your hiking plans, including the estimated time of return.

9. First Aid Kit: Carry a basic first aid kit with essentials like band-aids, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and any personal medications you may need.

10. Leave No Trace: Respect the environment and leave no trace of your visit. Pack out all trash and dispose of it properly. Minimize your impact on the trail and its surroundings.

Remember, safety is paramount when enjoying outdoor activities. Always use common sense, be prepared, and follow any additional safety guidelines provided by the trail system or local authorities.

Conservation Notes

The Mary Ingles Trail System, located in Kentucky, is currently considered to have a stable conservation status. Efforts have been made to protect and preserve the natural resources and historical significance of this trail system. The conservation status of the Mary Ingles Trail System is primarily focused on maintaining the ecological integrity of the area and ensuring the sustainability of its natural resources.

Conservation efforts for the Mary Ingles Trail System include the implementation of various management practices. These practices aim to minimize human impact on the environment and protect the biodiversity of the area. Conservationists have worked to establish guidelines for responsible trail use, including the promotion of Leave No Trace principles. These guidelines encourage visitors to minimize their impact on the trail system by practicing responsible hiking and camping techniques.

Additionally, conservation initiatives have been undertaken to protect the historical and cultural significance of the Mary Ingles Trail System. This includes the preservation of historical landmarks and artifacts along the trail, such as the Mary Ingles statue and interpretive signage. By maintaining and protecting these historical elements, the conservation status of the trail system ensures that future generations can appreciate and learn from the area’s rich history.

Overall, the conservation status of the Mary Ingles Trail System is considered stable due to the ongoing efforts to protect its natural resources and historical significance. Through responsible trail use and preservation practices, the trail system can continue to provide recreational opportunities while safeguarding its ecological integrity and cultural heritage.

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