We have miles and miles of beautiful hiking trails here in McCreary County. Whether you’re looking for easy or challenging you’ll find it here. Find out what it means to truly experience natural beauty.
Follow in the steps of Daniel Boone, known as Sheltowee or Big Turtle to Native Americans, along this 282-mile National Scenic back country trail through Daniel Boone National Forest, Big South Fork NRRA, and Natural Bridge, Cumberland Falls, & Pickett State Parks in Kentucky and Tennessee. Large portions of the Sheltowee Trace are open to horses and mountain bikes. In the northern half, motorized vehicles are permitted on much of the trail. However, the only way to complete the entire trail is to do so on foot. In fact, by connecting with the Jenny Wiley Trail (open only to foot traffic), one can hike from Tennessee to Ohio. Trail is denoted by markers depicting white turtle. Visit sheltoweetrace.com for maps and information.
Walk high among the Cumberland Plateau as beloved naturalist John Muir did in 1867 as he explored the wilderness from coast to coast of this great country. This 50-mile trail begins just north of the Tennessee line in McCreary County along the John Muir Overlook Trail and takes hikers above No Business Gorge deep into the river valley of the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. When completed, the John Muir Trail will extend from the northern side of Pickett State Park on the Cumberland Plateau to the Appalachian Trail in the southern part of the Cherokee National Forest. Trail is denoted by markers depicting a blue silhouette of John Muir. Visit nps.gov/biso for more information.
This trail allows the secret of solitude within the Big South Fork to be released. This 26-mile trail takes hikers and backpackers through much of the Kentucky portion of the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area from the Peters Mountain Trailhead to Yamacraw Bridge. The trail meanders Difficulty Creek, Troublesome Creek and through the primitive farmlands at Ledbetter Place. Hikers will also gain access to the site of the first commercial oil well in the U.S. along Huling Branch of the Big South Fork, Bald Knob, Big Spring Falls and the Blue Heron Mining Community. Visit nps.gov/biso for more information.
Scenic McCreary County is home to more than 100-miles of marked trails and countless cross-country wilderness opportunities. From the casual hiker to the serious backpacker, you can “get outside yourself” in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, Daniel Boone National Forest and Cumberland Falls State Resort Park. Visit nps.gov/biso, www.fs.usda.gov/dbnf or parks.ky.gov for more information.