Blue Hole, McConnell Springs - Lexington, KY
N 38° 03.269 W 084° 31.858
16S E 716630 N 4214738
Quick Description: 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. The natural spring where it emerges is known as Blue Hole.
Location: Kentucky, United States
Date Posted: 11/28/2007 1:59:32 PM
Waymark Code: WM2NZX
The following information comes directly from the McConnell Springs Nature Center's website (visit link
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”.
During the ensuing years, McConnell Springs — a National Registered Historic Site — served as the location of a mill, a gunpowder factory, a distillery, and a dairy farm. In more recent years, however, the site lay abandoned — but not forgotten.
Citizen efforts to reclaim McConnell Springs for its historical and natural value began with the publication of Carolyn Murray-Wooley’s book The Founding of Lexington published in Lexington’s Bicentennial Year. In 1993, The Friends of McConnell Springs came together to raise funds and recapture the site. JPMorgan Chase donated the original property to the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government for parkland. Meanwhile, The Friends had cleared hundreds of tons of trash and construction debris, and in November 1994 purchased an adjoining lot to build the Kentucky-American Water Company Education Center.
Underneath The Springs, limestone bedrock is honeycombed with crevices that allow water to slip through and eventually emerge as a natural spring — The Blue Hole — at the center of the site. An elevated walkway crosses the wetlands area, offering an excellent view of the surroundings while protecting the fragile environment. After flowing just a few yards, this portion of Town Branch runs underground again, only to reemerge nearby as the bubbling Boils beside a natural stone bank. In the west corner of the park stand the remains of a small abandoned quarry from which was taken much of the material to build the oldest structures on the property. Beneath the quarry, the final sink closes the karst window as the stream disappears for a final time.
McConnell Springs is owned by the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government and managed by its Division of Parks and Recreation.