Encompassing around 125,000 acres of rugged gorges and forest along the southeastern border with Tennessee, Big South Fork is one of Kentucky's most popular outdoor playgrounds. Within the Big South Fork, numerous pristine streams flow into the free-flowing Big South Fork of the Cumberland River. Over the eons, this ceaseless moving water has carved the sandstones of the plateau into the impressive cliffs, arches and chimneys found throughout the park.

Whatever type of outdoor recreation you enjoy, from easy to extreme, chances are Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area has a place you can do it. The hardest part of your visit may be deciding which trail, overlook, historic site, natural feature or program to try next!

If history interests you, visit the Blue Heron Mining Community, a coal mining town once owned by the Stearns Coal and Lumber Co. A unique and scenic way to get there is by riding the Big South Fork Scenic Railway. The round trip journey starts at the depot in Stearns. 

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