Pikeville, Kentucky, is a festive small town surrounded by acres upon acres of mountains, winding rivers, sprawling parks and tons of adventurous fun for lovers of fresh air. Here, nature is intertwined with history, giving visitors and locals alike terrain rich in both natural beauty and history to cut across by foot or on bike while sharing a gaze with the early pioneers. There are tons of ways to explore the history of this playful town – visitors can drive right through the Hatfield-McCoy feud on an air conditioned coach bus or take a walking tour through downtown Pikeville which promenades past historic federal buildings, the charms of Main Street and historic Pike County Courthouse.
Located in Pike County, about 3.5 hours from Louisville and Cincinnati and five hours from Nashville and Pittsburgh, Pikeville is an idyllic natural getaway for a historic or nature discovery.
It’s called the Cut-Through, but really it’s a blast through – 14 years and $80 million dollars went into this three quarter mile long channel through Peach Orchard Mountain to alleviate flooding from the Big Sandy River, creating a trainway and 400 acres of useable land. Construction wrapped up in 1986 and the results are astounding: pyramid-like mounds of sparsely foliated rock and between them, a highway, railway and river. From the overlook at one of its majestic peaks, visitors get a full gaze of the surrounding mountains, Bob Amos Park, winding trails and the Big Sandy River.
What was once a sprawling setting for a notorious falling out, bloodshed, tears, revenge and burials between the family clans of "Devil Anse" Hatfield and Randle McCoy at the end of the Civil War, the Hatfield-McCoy Trails is now a sweet place to ride ATVs, dirtbikes and UTVs. Snaking through several counties and six trail systems of varying terrain type, riders can get a challenging but scenic excursion through rugged mountains and stunning vistas of old coal country. For a real experience through the 600 miles of off-road trails, grab a bike or hit any of the ATV rental places in the area and kick up some dirt.
Take in Red River Gorge from up to 300 feet above the ground and between the treetops of the Daniel Boone National Forest on this tour that involves five zips ranging from 300 to 1900 feet in length that get progressively higher and higher. The last two lines are dual lines which allow partners to race each other over the canyon! The tour also includes hiking and trips over four canopy bridges.
Photo via their official FB page.
Visitors to this small town can still expect a big city caliber of casual upscale dining. The Blue Raven offers all the Kentucky comforts (including 23 labels of bourbon, to ease the Southern skeptics) and elevated comfort foods. Diners don’t miss out on their tempura grilled Shrimp and Grits made with tomato shrimp stock and wilted spinach, or their succulent lobster tacos. Located in the historic Old Wells Motor Building right on Main St., this local favorite is a must-visit for travelers following their taste buds.
There are limitless ways to enjoy the rich 4600-acre park. You can hike it easily, take in the textured trails and paths winding around this mountainous interstate park, or grab a mountain bike and let loose through the thick forests and thousand-year-old rock formations. Or you can watch the stars in one of their thickly wooded campsites. Wake up and fry up some eggs and sausage over a campfire before taking the kids to a playground. Or, down by the waterfront, spend a night in a luxury cabin with a deck overlooking Laurel Lake and a screened-in hot tub. Of the varied and uniquely ways to pass the time at Breaks Interstate Park, some of the best are overnight.