Kentuckians take a lot of pride in the wilderness and preserving the natural world for future generations. After all, Kentucky is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. It took millions of years to create such spectacular views with lush scenery, so why not share it with the rest of the world? Check out these hikes if you’re interested in being dazzled by the Kentucky landscape.
Raven Rock Trail at Kingdom Come State Park near Cumberland, Kentucky, offers one of the most beautiful views of eastern Kentucky you can find. Black Mountain which is part of Pine Mountain settlement can be viewed from the top of this mountain. For those of you that don’t know, Black Mountain is the highest point in Kentucky, but the view of it from across the holler is quite magnificent. This hiking trail is moderate with only half a mile of path. You’re sure to enjoy yourself once you reach the top of Raven Rock Trail as you marvel at the beauty of the Cumberland River Valley. Along the hike, you will discover the geological wonders of Kentucky’s mountain ranges. The steep hike offers incredible chances to revel in the beauty of Harlan County.
Blackacre State Nature Preserve near Louisville, Kentucky, is an introduction to nature for youth and a reintroduction for adults. The hikes that takes place at Blackacre are often guided. The woods of Blackacre have been protected for over 200 years now and they intend to keep them preserved this way. School field trips are often taken to Blackacre to teach kids about the wilderness in Kentucky. However, you can visit Blackacre on your own time as well to study the native plants of Kentucky with your family. There are six trails, each offering beautiful hiking options to the beginner.
Formed by the Carter Caves and nearby Cascade Caves, this 2,000-acre park yields breathtaking sights and a wonderful opportunity to connect to nature. There are plenty of hiking trails ideal for all levels of experience at Carter Caves. If you’re looking for something quick, try the half-mile Natural Bridge Trail which boasts a stunning limestone natural bridge, one of the most fascinating sites in Kentucky. If you’re looking for a longer trek, try the 3.5-mile Three Bridges Trail—one of the most popular in the park, characterized by Smoky Bridge (the park’s largest natural bridge).
This Boone County state park gets its name from the Pleistocene megafauna fossils found in the area. It’s believed by many that mammoths were attracted to this particular area because of a salt lick deposited by sulfur springs. Today, you’ll find truly incredible wildlife at Bone Lick—including a herd of magnificent bison. Most of the trails at the park are easy to moderate in difficulty. To see it all, traverse the 4.5-mile Discovery Trail. It is a “trail mosaic” made up of all the park’s hiking trails. According to its website, hikers pass through grasslands, woodlands, woody savanna, salt-sulfur springs, and the bison viewing area.
The gorgeous hikes are seemingly endless in Kentucky. The beauty continues with the 850-acre Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park located in Perry County. For a more challenging trail, try the half-mile Leatherwood Trail. This loop trail ascends hills, features several steps, and a beautiful lake overlook. For an easier hike, try the one-mile Moonshine Trail.