McConnell Springs is the birthplace of Lexington and is a wonderful hidden gem. We have a 26-acre historic and natural city park right under our noses!
McConnell Springs is located just inside New Circle off Old Frankfort Pike. You turn on Rebmann Lane and follow the signs that weave through industrial lots before stumbling upon the visitor’s center and picnic area.
In June 1775, William McConnell and his fellow frontier explorers camped at a natural spring in the wilderness of the Virginia territory known as Kentucky. Word came from nearby Fort Boonesboro that the first battle of the American Revolution had been fought in Lexington, Massachusetts. In honor of the battle, the group named their future settlement “Lexington”.
To register for an event call 859-225-4073
McConnell Springs welcomes visitors with an information center, complete with educational activities for children, tanks with live animals, and artifacts to touch. There is a staff working in the center available to answer questions. The center is open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sundays, 1-5 p.m. The park is open from dawn to dusk every day. To register for programs call 859-225-4073
Once you depart from the Visitor’s Center, there are 2 miles of trails, and many are paved. This makes it a perfect area for families with strollers or those requiring wheelchair accessibility. You can head back to “The Boils” and see a real spring in action (check it out after a good spring rain to guarantee it bubbles). Walk the trails and stop at a bench along the way to enjoy the sights and sounds, discover the remnants of the old buildings that were part of the original settlement, and check out the critters and insects that call the McConnell Springs’ pond home.
It’s a great place to pack a picnic and enjoy for a few hours. My boys love to wander the trails, stop by the pond and watch for a groundhog to pop up, and touch the cool water flowing through the streams.
Mark your calendar for the annual Founders’ Day Celebration planned each May. Experience life as it was in 1775. Enjoy demonstrations, educational activities, period music, storytelling and Native American Programs. It’s free!
Check out the Lex Fun 4 Kids Review of Founders Day!
Little Goblins Galore
Another annual event is Little Goblins Galore. This Halloween event is $6 per child and includes great trick or treat fun throughout the park.
Kids get little treats, snacks, prizes, there are games to play, characters in costume, dancing, and more.
For more information on events throughout the year click here.
For more information about McConnell Springs click here.
To register for an event call 859-225-4073 or visit ONLINE
Registration typically opens 2 weeks prior to the event.
September 2021 REGISTER ONLINE
September 4 | 10 a.m. | Nature Photography | Beginners nature photography class with instruction on how to better capture photos of plants, animals, and landscapes. Any participants under 18yo must be accompanied by an adult (the adult would not have to pay program fee if not taking program) $10
September 9 | 6 p.m. | Nature Journal Club | Park staff will provide materials and instruction on the principles of nature journaling then guide participants through the park while providing opportunity to journal their findings. $5
September 12 | 2 p.m. | Wild Flower Walk | Guided search for butterflies, bees, beetles, caterpillars, and any other pollinators. FREE
September 17 | 8:30 p.m. | Night Hike | Park staff will guide visitors on a night hike to explore the park and learn about nocturnal animals and how our own senses help us in the dark. $5
September 18 | 10 a.m. & 1 p.m. | Junior Naturalist (Seeds) | K-5th Grade – Insects and other small animals. FREE
September 19 | 2 p.m. | Tree Walk | No age restrictions, guided walk through McConnell Springs discussing flowers that are currently blooming.
September 21 | 10 a.m. | Pre – K Nature Class | For ages 2 – 5 years old, Park staff lead students through activities related to the monthly theme, must pre-register and there is a fee of $10 per student.
September 24 | 6 p.m. | Parents Night Out | Evening program for children. Each month, McConnell Springs will host Parent’s Night Out to provide safe and structured activities for children ages 6-11 years old while their parents/guardians get a night out to themselves. Park staff will lead children on nature themed hands on activities that will match a monthly theme. Children will get the opportunity to engage with other kids in an outdoor setting and be exposed to different activities such as arts and crafts, leadership and team building games, nature discovery, and more. Dinner and a snack will be provided by the park but children can bring their own if they choose. All children must be picked up by someone on their approved pick up list beginning at 8:30PM. If you have additional questions about the program please call the park at 225-4073. $20
September 28 | 1 p.m. | Nature Journal Club | Park staff will provide materials and instruction on the principles of nature journaling then guide participants through the park while providing opportunity to journal their findings. $5