About the Region
See what Southeast Kentucky has to offer...
Looking for recreational activities in a scenic location? Look no further. You'll find both in Southeast Kentucky.
Southeast Kentucky is definitely a place for all seasons. Blessed with a temperate climate and protected from extremes of weather by the surrounding mountains, the rugged landscape and rich soil promotes lush growth and spectacular scenery, with every season bestowing its own separate beauty.
Native redbud and dogwood trees announce the end of winter as their fuchsia and white blossoms dapple the hillsides. Wildflowers such as trillium, jack-in-the-pulpit, and lady's slipper bloom almost hidden beneath the lush canopies of green nurtured by summer's warmth. Then, as crisp autumn air slides in, the mountains reflect with the blazing colors of gold, copper, and bronze. Even winter provides a special beauty when soft blankets of white snow cover the sleeping landscape.
Southeast Kentucky provides unique opportunities to view and participate in a wealth of scenic environments and adventurous activities. In addition to the large designated recreational areas such as the Breaks Interstate Park, Jenny Wiley State Resort Park, Paintsville Lake,and Fishtrap Lake, county and city governments have established smaller local recreation spots throughout Southeast Kentucky. Residents and visitors can enjoy walking tracks, swimming pools, tennis courts, softball and little league fields, and a variety of fun on playground equipment such as slides and swing sets. Many also provide picnic tables, shelters, and small grills for family and church get-togethers. Almost every district has at least one area which allows for planned or impromptu performances by amateur musicians and which often entice some audience members to demonstrate their talents performing a traditional Appalachian dance called “clogging” or “flatfooting.”
A variety of festivals held throughout the year provide entertaining break from daily activities. In addition to the spring Festivals, weekends throughout the year are full of activities in Southeast Kentucky. Every weekend in October is part of the annual Russell Fork whitewater rafting season. For those who enjoy a little less physical excitement, Southeast Kentucky's colorful history can be explored in a variety of ways. Both the Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and the Pike County Tourism Commission provide visitors with directions for a Hatfield/McCoy Driving Tour, a Downtown Pikeville Walking Tour, and visits to the Elkhorn City Railroad Museum and Dils Cemetery. Dils Cemetery, located in downtown Pikeville, is believed to be the first integrated cemetery in Kentucky and is the final resting place of Randolph McCoy.
Traveling throughout the region, you will invariably find yourself on US 23, designated the Country Music Highway from Boyd County through Letcher County to honor the many well-known country music musicians who were born or grew up in close proximity to the highway. The Pikeville Cut-through is also part of the highway's appeal.
Recreation, adventure, or history - whatever your interests, Southeast Kentucky has something to offer that you won't find anywhere else.