William Whitley House Historic Site
The William Whitley House and Sportsman's Hill stand today as a monument to pioneer ingenuity and resourcefulness. It was the first brick home and circular racetrack built west of the Alleghany Mountains, completed in 1794 by William Whitley and his wife Esther. Dubbed the "Guardian of Wilderness Road," the house was a gathering spot for early Kentuckians, including George Rogers Clark and Daniel Boone.
The grounds are open year-round (playground, shelter rental, and restrooms only) and access to the Sportsman’s Hill Walking Loop Trail is open year-round.
To reserve the shelter and for group tours call the park at (606) 355-2881.
Things to Do
The house gift shop features an assortment of books on local and state history, souvenirs for the kids, Kentucky handcrafts, and Kentucky Proud food items.
Sportsman’s Hill Trail is .06 miles, and 6 panels along the way educate hikers about the beginning of horse racing in Kentucky. The Emperor’s Nature Trail is a 1.5-mile trail that offers encounters with quail, other birds, and wildlife.
Bring your picnic lunches to enjoy the site's 10 acres with two picnic shelters and a playground. Shelters can be rented for special functions. Open seasonally.
The House Museum is furnished with original pieces from the period. A tour guide will share the history of the house and the Whitley family. Call for date and times.