RULES and WARNINGS of the Graining Fork Nature Preserve (GFNP)

November 16 – 17: All Female Only Climbing Weekend.  Closed all weekend for a female climbing day.  More details to be posted soon.

A SEPARATE  PERMIT IS REQUIRED FOR EACH PERSON EACH DAY THEY ACCESS THE PRESERVE FOR ANY REASON. It is important that you carefully read and understand the list of warnings of the hazards and potential dangers, both identified and unknown that may exist in the GFNP.  Your presence in the preserve signifies that you have read, fully understand the rules, hazards, and accept all risks and these warnings.  Note:  A PayPal transaction is required to obtain your permit.

Understanding and accepting the warnings and rules is required before receiving a permit. If you are not willing or able to accept full responsibility for your presence and personal safety in the GFNP, then do not enter the property.


Access to GFNP is limited to those individuals with proof of authorized access in the form of a use permit and completed liability waiver.

Anyone failing to show proof of authorized access (either a paper copy or electronic) is criminal trespassing in accordance with KRS 511.080 and subject to prosecution.

Anyone entering the preserve without a permit may have their gear confiscated.

“Leave No Trace” principles must be followed at all times while in the preserve.   Pack it in – Pack it out, including your poo, no catholes ( will show you how to do it).

No dogs or other pets are permitted in the preserve.

Be considerate and respectful of those around you.  No music or excessive noise.

No illegal drugs or alcoholic beverages are allowed within the preserve.

No flora, fauna, rock or anything else may be damaged, harmed, moved or removed from the preserve.

No guiding or any commercial activity is permitted without expressed written consent from the Board of Directors.

Camping is not permitted within the preserve.

Access to the preserve is from dawn to dusk only.

No new route establishment without the written consent from the Board of Directors.

No fires, burning, or smoking of anything is allowed within the preserve.

WARNING: The preserve is a natural habitat with many known and unknown hazards. It impossible to be aware of every hazard and dangerous condition that may exist. It is, therefore, necessary that you acknowledge a general warning that hidden and unknown dangers may exist in the GFNP that cannot always be specifically identified and warned or guarded against.

WARNING: All outdoor activities and in particular climbing can be dangerous, participation in which can cause permanent paralysis or other serious injury and death to you or to those around you. You should never climb without extensive training by experienced climbers. You should never climb without proper high-quality rock climbing gear.  Gravity is consistent and indifferent.  It is an equal opportunity, non-discriminatory force that will provide you with a one way trip to eternity if you let it.  And, you should never climb if you are not willing to accept full responsibility for the consequences of your participation in this dangerous sport.

WARNING: The rock in the GFNP is primarily sandstone, a very soft, friable sedimentary rock that is laced with pockets, fissures and soft sections. Even the best of hardware permanently affixed to or temporarily placed into this rock can fail unexpectedly and catastrophically due to the poor structural integrity of this rock, possibly causing your injury or death.

WARNING: The rock in the GFNP contains sections that are either loose or that can be easily loosened. These sections can spontaneously fall off a cliff, or they may be inadvertently or purposely pulled off by a climber. In any case, rock fall poses a threat to visitors to GFNP and therefore poses a danger to the climber and/or persons below the climber. All persons participating in rock climbing and/or those present in the vicinity of rock cliffs are strongly advised to wear protective headgear designed specifically for a rock climbing environment.

WARNING: Never climb inside caves and overhangs in the preserve. The ceilings are often flaky and prone to breaking down and falling.

WARNING: Hanger brackets have been bolted to, or glued into, the walls of many of the climbing routes in the GFNP. Additionally, other hardware, such as slings, quickdraws, chains, rings, cable leaders, and permadraws may be attached to hanger brackets. As is traditional with rock climbing route development, this hardware was installed by many different persons. The specific hardware and installation methods are neither approved by nor monitored by us. Nor, is this hardware routinely inspected. NO warranties of safeness of this hardware have been given by the persons who installed it or by GFNP. Hanger brackets have been known to pull loose from the rock. And, rock in which hanger brackets have been affixed has been known to fail. If you climb in the preserve and rely on any piece of hardware affixed to any rock surface for your personal safety and/or the safety of others with you, you do so at your own risk and with the full knowledge that this hardware may fail catastrophically and without warning.

WARNING: There are numerous fall hazards within the preserve, footing is rough and uneven and in some areas you can fall over 100 feet and be severely injured or killed. Be very careful hiking along all trails and maintain control of children at all times.

WARNING: As a nature preserve, GFNP has known wildlife, including, but not limited to: stinging insects, such as wasps and hornets; venomous snakes, such as copperheads and rattlesnakes; and poisonous plants, such as poison ivy.

GFNP is private property.  Access to the preserve is dependent on user’s cooperation with the rules.   If you are not willing or able to abide by these rules then do not enter the property.  Authorized users are asked to help uphold the rules.


In consideration of being allowed to enter Graining Fork Nature Preservice for the purpose of outdoor recreation, I do hereby acknowledge, appreciate, and agree that:

The risk of injury from outdoor recreation and in particular rock climbing is significant, including the potential for permanent paralysis and death to other permanent and disabling injury, and while particular skills, equipment, and personal discipline may reduce this risk, the risk of serious injury and death is still substantial.

Furthermore, I confirm that I am physically and mentally capable of activities I choose to participate in, including but not limited to rock climbing, that I have attained the age of 18 years or that the legal parent or guardian is executing this agreement for minor(s). I hereby KNOWINGLY AND FREELY ASSUME ALL RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH MY ENTRY UPON THE LANDS OF GRAINING FORK NATURE PRESERVE WHETHER HIDDEN, OPEN, OBVIOUS OR OTHERWISE, BOTH KNOWN AND UNKNOWN TO ME, EVEN IF SUCH RISKS ARISE FROM THE NEGLIGENCE, RECKLESS, WANTON OR INTENTIONAL ACTS OF MYSELF OR OTHERS, equipment failure or forces of nature, and I assume full responsibility for my participation and for any minor children for whom I am responsible, and any expense as a result of my negligence or the negligence of others; and,

I willingly agree to comply with the WARNINGS AND RULES for Graining Fork Nature Preserve, which are listed page I of the permit and; and,

I understand and agree that all artificial installations on site including those typically used in rock climbing, including, but not limited to, rock anchors, glue-in bolts, bolted hangers, chains, cables, quicklinks, permadraws, quickdraws, and carabiners, found on the property have been placed by a number of individuals and that my use of any of these installations is undertaken solely at my risk and discretion; and,

I, for myself and on behalf of my heirs, assigns, personal representatives and next of kin, HEREBY RELEASE, INDEMNIFY, DEFEND AND HOLD HARMLESS Graining Fork Nature Preserve, and their officers, officials, agents, members, employees, volunteers, other participants, sponsoring agencies, sponsors, advertisers, and, if applicable, owners and leasers of premises used for the activity (“RELEASEES”), WITH RESPECT TO ANY AND ALL INJURY, ILLNESS, DISABILITY, DEATH, or loss or damage to person or property, WHETHER ARISING FROM THE NEGLIGENCE OF THE RELEASEES OR OTHERWISE, to the fullest extent permitted by law; and,

I agree that if any legal proceeding is instituted by myself or my heirs, assigns, personal representatives, or next of kin, then venue shall be proper only in the Fayette County Circuit Court, Lexington, Kentucky and that this Agreement shall be construed and interpreted under the laws of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

November 16 – 17: All Female Only Climbing Weekend.  Closed all weekend for a female climbing day.  More details to be posted soon.

Don’t get a permit until you read the rules.

Permit Application 2019
Note a PayPal donation is required for verification of identity (Even if it's just a penny)
I have read, understand and accept the warnings, rules, terms and conditions. *
If signing for someone under the age of 18, I accept responsibility for them. I understand that by checking the box above I have given up substantial legal rights, and check it freely and voluntarily without inducement.
Click NEXT to complete your Paypal transaction to receive your permit via email. An email confirmation is required to enter Graining Fork Nature Preserve. You must have a copy (electronic or paper) of the permit with you while in the preserve.

Protecting an outstanding natural resource