Discussion from McGrain and Currens (1978)
Bourbon County is located in the Inner Bluegrass Region of Kentucky. Topographically, it is a rolling limestone upland, slightly to moderately dissected. Even though this is a limestone terrain, karst features are not abundant.
Elevations between 900 and 1,000 feet are common; the maximum elevation of 1,050 feet is on a ridge about 1 1/2 miles northeast of North Middletown. Cane Ridge, east of Paris, has ridgetop elevations between 950 and 1,000 feet. Similar high elevations are found on the ridge along the Bourbon-Scott and Bourbon-Fayette County boundaries; this ridge is also the dividing line between the drainage basins of the Kentucky and Licking Rivers. Another high area is the drainage divide between some of the tributaries of Hinkston and Stoner Creeks in southeastern Bourbon County, where a number of hilltops have elevations between 1,000 and 1,030 feet.
The greatest local reliefs are found adjacent to the major streams: Licking River and Hinkston, Houston, silas, Stoner, Strodes, and Townsend Creeks. Here differences in elevation between the valley flats and the adjacent uplands range from 60 to 120 feet in most areas. The lowest elevation in the county is about 715 feet, at the point where Licking River leaves the county.
Elevations of communities in the county are Austerlitz, 920 feet; Centerville, 931 feet; Clintonville, 992 feet; Millersburg, 803 feet; North Middletown, 916 feet; Paris, the county seat, 843 feet; and shawhan, 835 feet.
The 7.5-minute topographic quadrangle maps that cover the county are shown, by name and by index code (Kentucky Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet) on the index map.