MADISON COUNTY

County Offices
135 W Irvine Street
Richmond 859-624-4700
https://madisoncountyky.us/

Chamber of Commerce
201 East Main Street
Richmond 859-623-1720
https://www.richmondchamber.com/

Madison County enjoys an east-central location in Kentucky where rolling Bluegrass foothills meet the Appalachians. Distinguished as one of the fastest growing areas in the state, the county is bordered by the Kentucky River and located just south of Fayette County and metropolitan Lexington. Madison is the largest of the Bluegrass counties, covering 446 square miles. The two cities of Richmond and Berea provide a hometown atmosphere and serve as centers of education, healthcare, tourism, and commerce. Interstate 75 along with US Highways 25 and 421 ensure quick and easy access to and from the area. Central Kentucky Regional Airport is available for general aviation but the closest airport with commercial airline service is Blue Grass Airport, 40 minutes away in Lexington.

Blending rural, suburban, and urban environments, Madison County continues to welcome residential, business, and industrial growth. Advantages include low business costs, affordable housing, a location within 600 miles of 50 percent of the U.S. population, award-winning schools, a major state-supported university, and comprehensive local healthcare. The rich historic and cultural legacy of this area has helped to fuel expansion of the tourist industry with important sites and attractions like Fort Boonesborough State Park, White Hall State Historic House, the Battle of Richmond Visitor’s Center, and the Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen. The associated Kentucky Artisan Center welcomes 300,000 visitors each year and provides more than 3,500 manufacturing jobs. It also serves as one of the state agencies in the Tourism, Arts & Heritage Cabinet of the Commonwealth.

Services
Newcomers to Madison County will find quality educational opportunities for all ages just beyond their doorstep. Respected public school systems include Madison County School District, one of only 20 districts in Kentucky to receive national recognition for the “What Parents Want” award. Opportunities for private education include LaFontaine Preparatory School, serving preschool through fifth grade, and the LaFontaine Early Learning Center for infants through age three. Eastern Kentucky University’s Model Laboratory School is another quality choice for K-12 students. For an affordable start on a four-year degree or career training, nearby Lexington offers three campuses for Bluegrass Community & Technical College. Madison County is the proud home of two institutions of higher education, crowned by the rapidly growing campus for Eastern Kentucky University with an enrollment of nearly 17,000. Maintaining four branch campuses, EKU also offers more than 40 online undergraduate, certificate, graduate, and non-degree options. The years since 2012 have been marked by remarkable expansion with renovations and additions. EKU is also gaining in national recognition, most recently by the U.S. News & World Report 2021 rankings as No. 51 in Regional Universities South and No. 29 Best Graduate School-Occupational Therapy. The highly rated private coed liberal arts Berea College is distinguished as one of only nine federally recognized work colleges in the nation. Paying minimal tuition, students work a minimum of 10 hours per week at hundreds of jobs in 120 departments, from herding cattle on Berea College Farm to state-of-the-art laboratory research. Other choices for higher education within a short commute are the University of Kentucky and the private colleges of American National University and Transylvania University—all located in Lexington.

First-rate healthcare resources and facilities are available close to home, anchored by Baptist Health Richmond with a 105-bed hospital that provides a full continuum of care to a regional population. Services include cardiac surgery, orthopedics, spine care, sleep disorders center, cancer care, diabetes treatment, rehabilitation, home care, and a full range of women’s services. Professionals are available in every major specialty and many subspecialties through the Baptist Health Medical Group offices and Baptist Health Urgent Care. CHI Saint Joseph Health operates Saint Joseph Berea hospital, licensed as a 25-bed critical care access hospital. Resources include 24-hour emergency care, heart/vascular and general surgery, orthopedics, outpatient infusions, therapies, pulmonology, sleep center, swing bed program, women’s care, and a senior renewal center. For highly advanced care, nearby Lexington is a hub of nationally recognized health systems including UK Health, CHI Saint Joseph Health, and Baptist Health Lexington. Home to the only Level I Trauma Center for both adult and pediatric patients in Central and Eastern Kentucky, UK Chandler Hospital joins Kentucky Children’s Hospital and UK Good Samaritan Hospital in providing Kentucky’s most advanced subspeciality care.

Lifestyle
Residents of Madison County enjoy four-season beauty and a varied topography for outdoor recreation and adventure. Anglers will appreciate the panoramic views surrounding Wilgreen Lake and the lovely Kentucky River Blueway Trail. This 42-mile stretch of rolling river showcases the natural beauty, biology, geology, and variety of animal species in the Kentucky River basin. Popular activities include fishing, bird watching, hiking, and visiting historical sites like Camp Nelson, Valley View, and High Bridge. Covering 450 acres, Lake Reba Recreational Complex offers nature trails, lake fishing and boating, a swimming pool, golf course and driving range, game and sports courts and fields, batting cages, a dog park, and children’s playground. Fishing and seasonal hunting are available at the 1,688-acre Miller-Welch Central Kentucky Wildlife Management area. Other attractions include Richmond Raceway, miniature golf, horseback riding, and hiking the Pinnacles in the Berea College Forest. Recognized as the best hike in Kentucky by Outside magazine, the Pinnacles command breathtaking views in close proximity to Daniel Boone National Forest and other local attractions. Madison County maintains four parks, two of which are attached to major historic attractions: White Hall Park, surrounding the palatial estate of historic icon Cassius Clay, and Richmond National Battlefield Park.

Madison County residents are able to enjoy diverse, interactive, and cultural experiences crowned by the magnificent EKU Center for the Arts on the Eastern Kentucky University campus. Conveniently located just off Interstate 75, EKU Center draws regional crowds to the finest in live entertainment and arts. Madison County is also famous as the Folk Arts & Crafts Capital of Kentucky. The Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen sponsors workshops, exhibits, retail fairs, referrals, jury sessions, mentor programs, and consultations with other visual art and fine craft organizations. Justly proud of its historic preservation, Madison County is home to the White Hall State Historic House. Dating back to the late 1700s and dramatically expanded in the 1860s, the mansion showcases the beauty of Georgian and Italianate architecture. Newcomers will want to take their time exploring all the unique activities and attractions this welcoming community has to offer. From festivals and fairs to live music, art exhibits, plays and shows, sports, holiday events, and a popular farmers market, the annual calendar is filled with reasons for friends and neighbors to gather for fun, laughter, food, and quality family time. Newcomers will be able to choose from a wide variety of home settings, styles, and price ranges, including affordable well-kept older homes, farm houses on sprawling acreage, contemporary construction, stately country manors, and lovely suburban developments. Those who appreciate the simple pleasures of rural-suburban living in close proximity to major metropolitan amenities will find an idyllic place to call home in Madison County.

COMMUNITY PROFILES

Berea

Municipal Offices
859-986-8528
www.bereaky.gov

Chamber of Commerce
859-986-9760
http://www.bereachamber.com/

The friendly city of Berea is best known for its premier art festivals, the charm of its historic architecture, and the proud home of Berea College—which claims a truly unique history, legacy, and operating model. Founded in 1855 by an abolitionist Presbyterian minister, Berea College was the first college in the South to be coeducational and racially integrated. With a No. 33 ranking in the 2021 Best in National Liberal Arts Colleges, Berea gives students a no-tuition promise along with campus employment. The historic attraction of Boone Tavern is owned by the college with students making up 15 percent of the hotel and restaurant staff. The city of Berea is also famous as the “Folk Arts and Crafts Capital of Kentucky.” Serving as a major local employer, the Kentucky Artisan Center and the local colony of artist studios also represent a draw for regional and national tourism. The city welcomes throngs of visitors each year to Artisan Village, brimming over with studios, handmade jewelry, candle and wood shops, fabric stores, galleries, glass studios, and unique boutique and gift shops. Newcomers will appreciate the welcoming atmosphere of this friendly small town where neighbors can easily become friends. The city has developed a pedestrian-friendly culture supported by miles of bike trails and sidewalks and regularly hosts 5K walks and 10K runs.

Richmond

Municipal Offices
859-623-1000
https://www.richmond.ky.us/

Chamber of Commerce
859-623-1720
https://www.richmondchamber.com/

The welcoming city of Richmond is an idyllic blend of historic charm, first-rate services, and contemporary amenities. As Madison County’s hub for education, healthcare, and government, the city is the proud home of Eastern Kentucky University (EKY). These highly developed services are equally important to residents of surrounding rural counties, who look to Richmond for advanced healthcare and enjoy the convenience of EKU branch campuses in Corbin, Hazard, Lancaster, and Manchester. Architectural jewels and historic preservation contrast with contemporary amenities like the EKU Center for the Arts on the University campus. Famous historic attractions include White Hall State Historic House, Irvington House Museum, Fort Boonesborough State Park, and Richmond National Battlefield Park. Additional city highlights include Hummel Planetarium and Space Theater and an active Parks and Recreation Department that maintains six parks, Paradise Cove Aquatic Center and a Teen Center. Residents enjoy a full calendar of annual events including summer camp, holiday festivals, movies in the parks and musical concerts. Those looking for friendly neighbors and small-town charm near the bright lights of Lexington will find the perfect hometown in Richmond.

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