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5 Amazing Hikes in Harlan County


One of the most beautiful ways to experience Harlan County is to see it for yourself. There are many great hiking spots in Harlan County, but we're highlighting just a few. Please keep in mind that hikers in Harlan County commonly encounter black bears, snakes, ticks, etc.



KNOBBY ROCK: Knobby Rock is located at Camp Blanton. When you arrive, follow the gravel road to the trailhead on the left and follow the signs for the Knobby Rock Trail. This trail is approximately three miles long and will take approximately three hours to complete. The view at the top of the rock overlooks the city of Loyall and Blanton Forest, the largest old growth forest in the state of Kentucky. This view is one you can't miss!

LITTLE SHEPHERD TRAIL: Little Shepherd Trail is a 38 mile winding road that runs from 119 near Whitesburg to 421 near Harlan, including a portion that runs through Kingdom Come State Park . Parts of the trail are paved while others are dirt. Since the trail is divided into sections, hikers can choose the length of their journey. Hikers should use caution as they might encounter the occasional vehicle. Along the way, visitors can expect to enjoy rock outcroppings, scenic overlooks, wildlife, and vibrant plant life.

CUMBERLAND SHADOW TRAIL: The Cumberland Shadow Trail runs along the backside of Martins Fork Lake. The full trail is approximately five miles long and has gorgeous displays of the lake throughout. There are also two campsites along the trail for primitive camping.

SAND CAVES: The Sand Caves are also located at Camp Blanton. The Sand Cave Trail will take approximately five hours to complete. This is a more strenuous hike. It is better suited for more experienced hikers. Follow the gravel road until you hit the trail head on the left. Follow the Knobby Rock Trail until you reach a sign that says Sand Cave. It will be on your left. Follow that trail to reach the vast sand cave located in Blanton Forest. It is a sight that you can't miss!

RAVEN ROCK: The Raven Rock Trail is located at Kingdom Come State Park in Cumberland, KY. To get to raven rock, start at the Gift Shop located to the left when you enter the park. Cross the lake on the trail to the right and walk until you reach a sign directly across the lake from where you started. Follow the raven rock trail until you reach the top of the huge rock. The view from the top shows a gorgeous view of the Cumberland area and is most beautiful when the top of the mountains are covered in snow. This hike is a little less than a mile long and is a great trek for children as well as adults. Don't forget to enter the Gift Shop and get a trail map for your adventures!

Harlan County is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the Appalachian Mountains. The best way to experience this beauty is to hike it yourself! These aren't the only amazing hikes you can find in Harlan County, for a list of places to hike, click here.



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Harlan County Outdoor Recreation Board Authority - (606) 837-3205 - info@harlancountytrails.com
Harlan Tourist & Convention Commission- (606) 573-4495 - harlancenter@harlanonline.net
Cumberland Tourist & Convention Commission - (606) 589-5812 - ctourism@windstream.net
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