The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources has opened more land for public use.
Old Trace Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is a 323-acre property near the community of Emerson in Lewis County. Hunting on the WMA is allowed under statewide regulations.
The property was purchased with Kentucky Wetland and Stream Mitigation “Fee In-Lieu of” (FILO) Program funding for stream restoration. The FILO program is required by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to permanently protect stream restoration project sites through the acquisition of properties like the Old Trace Creek area. No general fund tax dollars or department license dollars were used.
“With the stream restoration project almost complete, the area is being opened for the public to enjoy,” said Mike Hardin, assistant Fisheries Division director with Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. “Not only is this project improving stream habitat, hunters and outdoors enthusiasts are being provided with a new place to enjoy.”
Old Trace Creek WMA is about 95 percent forested with the remaining open land primarily being creek drainages where stream restoration efforts are nearly complete. Visitors will encounter moderate to steep terrain with forested ridges and benches.
“There is abundant opportunity for game species as most of this track is made up of upland oak forest,” said Nathan Gregory, coordinator of Kentucky Fish and Wildlife’s Northeast Wildlife Region. “Turkey, squirrel and deer are going to be the big three. There’s the possibility of some rabbit and grouse, as well.”
To access Old Trace Creek WMA, take Exit 156 off Interstate 64, turn left on KY 59 and travel about six miles to Old Trace Creek Road/Old Trace Hill Road. Turn left and travel approximately one mile. The property is mostly on the right, with one small tract on the left that offers access to the creek. The property features three small parking areas off Old Trace Creek Road.
The property is free for the public to access. Hunters must have the proper license and permits. These are available online at fw.ky.gov, or at numerous vendors where sporting goods are sold.