Brushy Hills Preserve

Owned by the city of Lexington, Brushy Hills Trails are some of the most accessible hiking trails from Lexington, in addition to the Chessie and Wood Creek Trails. Composed largely of old logging roads that have been strung together to create various loop and out-and-back hikes, each offers a unique length and difficulty.



From the parking lot, the trail begins on the left, opposite the old springhouse. There are five different trails, each blazed a different color, which connect to form various loops. The information kiosk for Brushy Hills is a minute’s walk up the trail. Here you can pick up cards with a map and information about each trail.

The Green-Yellow loop is a 2.2-mile straightforward hike that should take about an hour. To take this loop, begin along the Green Trail for 1.3 miles until it converges with the Yellow Trail. Follow this path for .7 mile before it connects with the Red trail, which you will follow back to the information area.

The Purple, Blue and Red loop is about 3.2 miles, lasting about an hour and a half. The Purple trail begins from the parking lot; follow it for 1.25 miles before crossing Union Run. You will reach an intersection of the Blue and Purple at 1.6 miles. The loop crosses briefly into the Green Trail a couple of times before reaching the Red, Green and Yellow crossing.

The Perimeter Trail is a 5-mile loop beginning from the Purple Trail. About .5 miles into the Purple hike you will see a sign to enter the Perimeter Trail. At two miles in, you will cross Union Road, go between two communications towers, and enter another cleared utility run. Follow this path, marked by a cairn and later by a tin cup (pictured). Continuing along this trail will take you back to Union Run Road.

In addition to these loops, various other trails are available; information for them is available from the kiosk pictured below, near the parking lot.

Driving Directions

From the Lexington Visitor Center, turn left onto Washington Street, followed by a left onto Jefferson Street. Drive .2 mile to a right onto McDowell Street, followed by a left onto Jackson Avenue. After .4 mile, turn right onto Ross Road, past Boxerwood Nature Center, to a sharp right turn on Union Run, which becomes a gravel road and leads to a parking area.


  • Because of the variation in trail choices, be sure to grab a map. Not every trail has this service and can offer new hikers peace of mind.

Insider's Tips

  • Because there are so many paths to take, and so many choices and levels of difficulty, this could be the perfect hike for a group that includes the nature lover and the nature adverse.
  • The proximity of this trail system to Lexington makes it an ideal mid-morning or mid-afternoon destination. Pack a lunch for before or after your hike by sourcing it at a local café like Sweet Treats or Blue Sky Bakery.