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Maywoods Environmental and Educational Laboratory


A 1,700 acre natural area and wildlife refuge nestled in the Knobs Region of Kentucky, Maywoods is located 22 miles southwest of Eastern Kentucky University’s (EKU) Richmond campus and straddles parts of Garrard and Rockcastle Counties. As EKU’s Environmental and Research Laboratory, the facility provides research opportunities for the University’s students and faculty, as well as environmental educational opportunities for the University community, surrounding county schools and community groups.

Maywoods is open to the public from dawn to dusk every day for hiking and fishing (see regulations below). The entrance gate to Maywoods is open from 9am to 5pm on weekends from April 1st to October 31st. It is often open on weekdays and throughout the week year-round, but this is dependent on staff schedules and maintenance needs. If the gate is closed or you plan to stay after 5pm, visitors may walk in by parking outside the gate (do not block the gate!) in the gravel area to the left of the gate or along the shoulder of the road. 

Because Maywoods is a natural area and refuge for wildlife, pets are not allowed onsite.

Facilities at Maywoods, include:

  • 5 self-guided hiking trails under 1 mile, plus a 4.2 mile self-guided hiking trail. View: printable Trail Map.
  • A lodge with semi-private dormitory accommodations for 40, a central meeting room and fully equipped kitchen
  • Wireless internet service in lodge
  • Outdoor classroom shelter
  • Amphitheater
  • Lake Edmiston (Fishing permitted from the shore; April 1 to October 31. Valid fishing license required. Fishing regulations posted on site) 

Group Reservation Information and Fees

Maywoods’ facilities are available to university groups, area schools and community groups with an environmental or outdoor education component. In accordance with Maywoods’ Reservation Policy, the first full week of classes for each semester EKU classes have reservation priority. After the first full week of classes, reservations are on a first come, first serve basis. Below is the chart of facility fees for groups interested in reserving Maywoods:

Group Fees Reservation Form
EKU Classes and Organizations

Facility Fee: $40/day

Overnight Fee: $8/person/night

(Fees may be waived for EKU classes)

EKU Conferencing and Events Form
Community Groups; with Environmental
Outdoor Education Focus

Facility Fee: $40/day

  Overnight Fee: $8/person/night

  EKU Conferencing and Events Form
K-12 School Groups

Facility Fee: $40/day

Overnight Fee: $8/person/night

      EKU Conferencing and Events Form

For Teachers and Environmental Educators

To provide teachers and environmental educators, formal and non-formal, resources to enhance their group’s experience at Maywoods, the Division of Natural Areas has developed a Leader’s Manual and educational activity kits. The Leader’s Manual is designed to help all group leaders have a successful and enjoyable outdoor, environmental educational experience with their group at Maywoods. The Activity Kits are available for teachers and other environmental/outdoor education leaders to use during their Maywoods’ visit. Each kit is designed to explore one of Maywoods ecosystems.

For more information, contact: 

Homer Strong
Maywoods Environmental and Educational Laboratory
447 Maywoods Road
Crab Orchard, KY 40419
Phone: 859-925-2274


Natural Areas

521 Lancaster Ave
3106 New Science Building
Richmond, KY 40475
Phone: 859-622-1476
Fax: 859-622-8068

Connect with Natural Areas @ EKU