Robinson Forest
Robinson Forest



Robinson Forest is a teaching, research, and extension forest administered by the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources in cooperation with the Robinson Center for Appalachian Resource Sustainability at the University of Kentucky. Its ~14,800 acres are located in the interior rugged section of the Cumberland Plateau. Robinson Forest is part of the mixed mesophytic forest, the most diverse forest region found in temperate North America. From the top of the fire tower, one can see that the main block of Robinson Forest has been isolated from most human activities such as surface mining of coal. Today, Robinson Forest contains some of the least disturbed watersheds in eastern Kentucky. It is also a source of valuable information about forestry, forest hydrology, carbon sequestration, wildlife, and ecological relationships. More than that, it is a unique place where research and applied resource management come together through extension and teaching activities.

What is the Purpose of Robinson Forest?

Robinson Forest was given to the University in trust and is managed to conform to its legal requirements in a manner that is consistent with the spirit of the trust and the goals and objectives of the land grant mission of the University of Kentucky. The trust stipulates that what is now known as Robinson Forest be used “... for the purpose of agricultural experimental work and teaching, and for the practical demonstration of reforestation.”  It further indicates that the “… proceeds of the sale of said property or any part thereof and the net revenues derived from the operation of said property of the University shall be used to further the purposes of the trust hereinabove defined, and for such other purposes as will tend to the betterment of the people of the mountain region of Kentucky as may be agreed upon by the parties hereto.” A quote from Mr. Robinson provides more insight into his intent “… to make the mountain section a more profitable as well as a more comfortable place in which to live and work, and to fit its people to live and do that work.” (Smith 1981, Kentucky Agriculture Experiment Station).

Forest Activities:
There are many educational activities held at Robinson Forest.  Please click on one of the areas to the right to learn more.


Students learn forestry techniques every year at the forest.

Explore Teaching


Demonstration sites and materials have been developed specifically for use in extension programming.

Explore Extension


Research projects spanning a broad range of forestry and natural resource disciplines are held at the forest.

Explore Research

Contact Information

617 Clemons Fork Road Clayhole, KY 41317

+1 (606) 666-9995