PINEVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- It’s a four hour drive southeast of Louisville, and you will go from city to paradise in that short time. Pine Mountain and the wildlands corridor around it is being saved acre by acre for you to camp overnight and hike, thanks to the Kentucky Natural Lands Trust, a group that is backed by Louisville’s Christy Brown and others. They provide money that is used to purchase private land for public use. Purchases like the new 651 acres just announced on August 12.

Spine of Pine Mountain (Kentucky Natural Lands Trust)

The folks at KNLT found a baby turtle in the new acreage that is along the south face of the mountain. In this area of the state, immersed in the forest of Pine Mountain, you will find the rare Rock Harlequin flower. Plus, it is a refuge for nearly 100 other rare species. The 125 mile ridgeline of the mountain is also an important migratory route that birds follow from the air. My favorite, the Northern long-eared bat loves to make Pine Mountain its summer home.

 Baby turtle on Pine Mountain property (Kentucky Natural Lands Trust)
Rock Harlequin (Kentucky Natural Lands Trust)

Over the past year, KNLT has saved over 4,000 acres in Bell and Harlan Counties that all connect with Pine Mountian. The group is also partnered with Bernheim Forest and receives money from the popular Forecastle Festival in Louisville.

Wood Thrush (Kentucky Natural Lands Trust)

To get access to the areas being saved visit the Kentucky Natural Lands Trust website: http://knlt.org/

One of my family’s favorite is Pine Mountain State Park, a wonderful Kentucky State Park a great place to get started:

http://parks.ky.gov/parks/resortparks/pine-mountain/