Discussion from McGrain and Currens (1978)

Nicholas County is in the Outer Bluegrass Region of central Kentucky. The terrain is rolling to hilly with moderate local relief. The greatest local relief is along the valley of Licking River, which marks the northern boundary of the county. Here differences in elevation between the valley floor and the adjacent upland ridges may be as great as 200 to 250 feet. The lowest elevation in the county, approximately 565 feet, is the point where Licking River leaves the county.

Ridgetop elevations of 900 to 1,000 feet prevail throughout most of the county. The highest elevation, 1,060 feet, is on a drainage divide between the Licking River and Somerset Creek about 3.5 miles northwest of Moorefield. There are probably more flat-topped ridges in this area than in any other part of the county.

The elevation of Carlisle, the county seat, is 879 feet. Moorefield is at an elevation of 985 feet, and Barterville is at 1,000 feet.

The 7.5-minute topographic quadrangle maps that cover Nicholas County are shown, by name and by index code (Kentucky Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet) on the index map.

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