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6th Graders treated to hike to explore Jeffreys Cliffs

Hancock County Middle School 6th Grade Students enjoyed a field trip to Jeffreys Cliffs Conservation & Recreation Area, on Thursday, May 11th. Steve Canepari, President of the Hancock County Heritage Commission, led the hike, along with volunteers: Danny Allard, Wade Gaynor and Richard Basham.

There were around 106 students hiking, and 6 adult chaperones.

They were split-up into 4 groups, and Gaynor, Allard, Basham and Canepari took around 20 students each to destinations such as the big Morgan’s Cave and the Tobacco Cave, as well as climbing the new stairs to the high point.

“The day was perfect,” Canepari said. “It was overcast, but it didn’t rain. Any day you’re out in the woods is a good day. The students arrived at 8:30 a.m., and hiked just shy of 3.5 miles. They had a good time, and we’re going to make sure this is an annual event.”

Domtar set-up their covered picnic facility, brought in some extra portable bathrooms & handwashing stations, and also gave each student a souvenir bag to take home. After hiking, students were bused to the picnic area, and enjoyed brown bag lunches at noon. They finished out the day playing volleyball, basketball and hiking around the area and left right at 2 p.m. to get back to school on HC School buses.

“Originally, when we were planning all this,” Canepari added, “we had high hopes that we would start having more and more school field trips here. Covid was the reason why nothing much had been done until Thursday. It was the first, really scheduled and organized school field trip we’ve had since we opened back in June of 2020. And, that’s just the beginning, I hope.

Heritage Commission meeting on May 22nd

We’re going to have a Heritage Commission meeting on May 22nd, and talk about making outreaches to the other school districts in the area, because it’s a good day trip for young people to get out in the woods. For surrounding counties, it would be a very easy day trip for them to come over here. And, if we make proper arrangements, Domtar will offer their picnic area to them anytime, as a place for them to gather later on and have lunch. And, we also hope to be able to hand out souvenirs to the kids when they show up.”

On Friday, May 12th, Canepari and volunteers were leading a hike for 22 freshman students from Breckinridge County, for their field trip. He said the weather wasn’t as good as Thursday, because of some rain, but that it was still a good day of hiking for all.

Canepari, 2021 Historian of the Year, spearheaded the Jeffreys Cliffs projects as well as working alongside volunteers to complete them. They built trails in 2017 and 2018. They started the stairs in October 2020, and those were completed in May 2021. Many who had trouble making the hike up the cliffs now have access, because of those volunteers and their many hours of hard work.

Tours can be scheduled via email:, or phone: 270-927-9497. Jeffreys Cliffs are open to the public on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays, year-round, from sunrise to sunset. Other special days the Cliffs are open to the public are: Spring, Fall & Christmas Breaks in KY & IN, Independence Day and Thanksgiving week.

For more information, go to the website:, or the Facebook Page: Jeffreys Cliffs Conservation & Recreation Area.

By Jennifer Wimmer


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