Photos courtesy Kentucky Tourism.
Pike County, Kentucky
Friday: Cultural Offerings. Learn all about the Big Sandy Valley at the Big Sandy Heritage Center – "exhibits include Native American, pioneers, coal mining, Civil War, a tool collection and political corner,” says curator Everett Johnson. “We have more than 3,000 different exhibits of artifacts, photographs and documents.” A tour of the museum is self-guided, but Johnson will accompany groups if preferred. Later, catch a show at Artists Collaborative Theatre Inc. From musicals to comedies, this year’s line-up includes "The Wizard of Oz," "The Magic Well" and "Steel Magnolias."
Saturday. If historic buildings and homes are your fancy, take a stroll through downtown Pikeville. This walking tour guides you through five districts, all listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and past 53 properties, offering a quick history lesson on each. Give your feet a rest and hit the Hatfield-McCoy Feud Driving Tour. Pick up a CD from the visitor’s center for and audio-guided trek of this famous feud, which begin along the Tug River in eastern Pike County.
Sunday. With more than 13 miles of trails and 4,500 acres of woodlands and mountain views, the 250-million-year-old canyon that forms Breaks Interstate Park conjures up plenty of activities to fill the morning. Enjoy a homemade lunch – and indulge in dessert – at the Rhododendron Restaurant before heading to your next stop, Elkhorn City RiverWalk. This trail shows off the scenic beauty of the town, including the Russell Fork River, Riverfront Park and its native gardens, and artistic murals created by residents.
Cost Roundup. Big Sandy Heritage Center ($3, adults; $2, children and seniors); Artists Collaborative Theatre ($8); Hatfield-McCoy Feud Driving Tour ($15 for CD); Breaks Interstate Park ($2 per car); Rhododendron Restaurant (up to $10).
Before You Go
Breaks Interstate Park
Pike County Tourism
Big Sandy Heritage Center
Artists Collaborative Theatre
Breaks Interstate Lodge
Rooms with views of the gorge and Russell Fork River. Beginning at $61 per night, single occupancy.
Pikeville Historic Mansion Bed & Breakfast
Each room named for historical figures with ties to the area. Call for rates.
A locally owned and operated hotel with 103 rooms, a banquet room and meeting rooms. Rates begin at $79.
Civil War Stop: Prestonsburg
With a Confederate Loop Trail and Union Loop Trail, Middle Creek Battlefield in Prestonsburg, Ky. pays tribute to the Civil War. The Battle of Middle Creek may have just been a skirmish, but, according to the battlefield website, “it ended Confederate supremacy in the region and it launched the career” of James A. Garfield, the 20th president.
This historical site also features an information station with depictions of the battlefield and the Civil War in Eastern Kentucky, as well as a driving tour with stops at Graveyard Point, the former site of the Garfield Place, May House and the former site of the May House Grist Mill. For more information, call 606-886-1312.