Kentucky Appalachians Trail Towns
Thousands of miles of trails and waterways criss-cross Kentucky, offering endless opportunities for long-distance adventures and day trips alike. Along these trails, numerous communities have been designated as Kentucky Trail Towns – places where you can find supplies and guides, lodging, a hearty meal and a friendly hello during your travels.
The 16-mile section of Kentucky’s Russell Fork River between Haysi, Virginia, and
Elkhorn City, Kentucky, is known as the place to go for the area’s best whitewater and is home to one of the country’s classic creek runs. While the upper section runs betweenclass II-IV, an October dam release pumps up the fun to class V rapids in t he stunning 1,600-foot Breaks Gorge section, also known as the “Grand Canyon of the South.”
As part of their trail town efforts, the community of Morehead successfully rerouted the Sheltowee Trace, Kentucky's longest trail, to travel through the heart of downtown Morehead. Now, trail users will be able to explore town and find whatever they may need, before heading back out on their journey. Just outside of Morehead is Cave Run Lake which has a trail system of 100 miles, and is very popular among mountain bikers and equestrians. The Daniel Boone National Forest surrounds the lake and much of the Morehead area, providing seemingly endless opportunities for exploration.
Overflowing with small-town charm, Olive Hill offers big opportunities to explore
Kentucky’s great outdoors. Flowing right through downtown, Tygarts Creek carves a
natural gorge on both sides of the city, while Carter Caves State Resort Park, one of
Kentucky’s oldest, offers 30 miles of hiking trails over its 1,800 acres. Full of rich history, the town is today known for music, community events and its historic depot offering a glimpse of the past.
The rural community of Royalton features Kentucky’s longest Rails to Trails Project, the Dawkins Line Rail Trail, cutting right through the center of town. It’s popular among hikers, bikers and equestrians, and a bike store right next to the trail head offers rentals, gear, shuttle service and everything you need to hit the trail. For added convenience, a local restaurant, gas station and retail store are located at the trail head as well.