Riverfront Property For Sale

High Bridge (Wilmore), Kentucky (near Lexington)

sorry : sold

Miscellaneous information & opinions

Here is an assortment of information about the property and High Bridge. I think it's a great place, and I don't want to misrepresent it in any way. Please contact Watts realtors is you have questions (859-885-3355).
-- Rick Ferriss, owner, August 2005.

I lived in the Lexington area from 1980 to 1991, while working at the University of Kentucky. In the late 80s, some friends bought a place in High Bridge. I visited frequently, grew to love the area, and bought their house when they moved in 1989. I lived there until 1991, when I moved back to Florida. I bought the lots that are now for sale in 1990. I sold my house in 1999.

If you would like to look around the property, please contact Watts Realtors.

Directions: From Wilmore, take KY 29 south to its end at the bridge and High Bridge Park. Take the road down the hill, then left on Dix drive at the bottom of the hill (Eastward). Follow Dix Drive under the bridge for about a mile, nearly to its end. The property is just past the 1395 mailbox. There are three houses past the property on Dix Drive.

High Bridge and nearby areas of Jessamine County have a long and colorful history:

Although situated in a semi-wilderness area, High Bridge is in a location convenient to modern amenities. 15-minutes up the road is the village of Wilmore, site of Asbury College and Seminary (Methodist associated), churches, a police station, the IGA store, a convenience store, a bank, a hardware store, a veterinarian, doctor's offices, a Veteran's Administration nursing home, and a few restaurants and antique stores. A few miles further away is Nicholasville, the Jessamine County seat, with supermarkets, a WalMart, and many other shops and services. Lexington is about a 45-minute drive, a mid-sized city with restaurants, shopping, entertainment, medical facilities and the University of Kentucky.

Because the Kentucky River runs between steep cliffs in this area, there are few locations where the river can be accessed from the uplands. There are about 25 lots in the High Bridge bottomland -- developed as the Willow Glen subdivision in 1962.

There is a public boat ramp near where the road comes down the hill, across from Shaker Landing. Floating docks are common. The deep water pool formed by lock #7 (just below the bridge) extends about 20 miles upstream to lock 8, near Camp Nelson and the US 27 bridge. The Dix River, about a mile downstream, flows from the tailwaters of Herrington Lake, formed by the Dix Dam. Its cool, clear water is annually stocked with brown trout. Access is difficult for those who don't live at High Bridge. During the summer, river flow is minimal, and canoeing upstream is easy except during windy periods.

In addition to boating and fishing, the area features many interesting hiking areas (see the geologic/topo map). For about 16 miles upstream, there is no significant development in the river valley, and there are many fascinating ravines where streams come down the cliffs into the river (one nice one is about a half mile upriver on the far side). There are also numerous small caves, most with water ('springs'). "Boone's Cave" is a quarter mile downstream on the far side of the river (it may or may not have ever been visited by Daniel Boone). Some friends and I once crawled into the cave for about 2 hours (it's mostly less than 3-feet high and wet), eventually reaching a dry room with a sand floor and 15-foot ceiling (it seemed like good place to stop). At the top of the hill across Dix Drive is an old railroad grade. There are a few nearby steep trails to the top. The area is rich in wildlife, with many kinds of birds, animals and plants.

In past years, the Kentucky River has been subject to pollution from coal mine run-off and substandard sewage treatment facilities in eastern Kentucky. However, there has been continuing improvement in water quality in recent years (for more info see the websites of the Kentucky River Watershed Watch, Kentucky Watersheds, and the Kentucky Waterways Alliance). There is no problem with eating fish from the river, other than the standard mercury advisory, which covers all Kentucky waters. Swimming advisories have been issued for the North Fork of the Kentucky River, well upstream from High Bridge. Swimming in the river at High Bridge is a regular summertime activity. As with most streams, residential and agricultural run-off is greatest immediately following heavy rains.

The property is on 2 levels, or flood plains. The upper level is at the road level, and is about 125-feet deep. The lower level is about 10 feet below it, and is about 75-feet deep. There is a standard chain-link fence on 3 sides of the upper level: next to the road, and on either side, and remnants of an older metal fence along the edge of the upper level.

The upper level was last mowed about 1993, and is covered with a fairly dense growth of young trees, including maples and hickories of various sorts. There are some mature trees (mostly silver maples and box elders) along the river edge of the upper level, scattered on the lower level, and immediately next to the river. The dense growth on the upper level offers a variety of development options: a driveway could be cleared in to a secluded homesite near the edge of the upper level; a few trees could be left for a park-like atmosphere; or all of the trees could be easily cleared for maximum exposure. A permanent house could be built (see below), or an improved campsite could be developed, with water, electricity, a dock, and decked areas.

The adjacent property on the downstream side has an improved house and storage building, and is occupied year-round. The adjacent property on the upstream side has not been occupied for a number of years.

The property has been placed in FEMA Flood Hazard Zone C. Flood insurance is available for construction on the property, and may be required by lenders. In order to obtain flood insurance, there may be some restrictions on construction. Flood waters have extended just over the upper level recently, and any new permanent construction should be elevated at least a few feet, regardless of insurance requirements. Also, there is a low area next to the road where water accumulates after heavy rains (not really a ditch: it is less than a foot below the road surface, and there is little flow). Site improvements should include a simple drainage ditch or drain pipe to move the water over to the edge of the upper level.

In the early 80s, there was a shack on the property with an electricity connection. There is a power pole near the road about midway along the boundary. For information about power connections contact Kentucky Utilities Wilmore office: 203 E. Main St, 858-3551.

In 1991, water service from the city of Wilmore was extended to Dix Drive. A $200 tap-on fee was paid for the lots, and a below-ground terminal was installed near the road about midway along the boundary. Connection requires a plumbing construction permit and the plumbing must be installed or approved by a licensed master plumber. Contact Wilmore Utilities for info: 858-4857, or David Carlstedt, Director Utilities/Public Works.

The 1962 Willow Glen subdivision regulations prohibit some commercial and farming activities, such as marinas, retail stores and animal farms, as well as permanent parking of a "house trailer", although campers and small trailers have been parked in the area in recent years. I do not know the legal status of these regulations (how binding they are).

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