If you’re looking for thrills and adventure, Harlan is the place for you! We have compiled a list of ten experiences that you can’t miss while visiting Harlan County. Print this off and check the activities off as you complete them!
- Black Mountain Thunder Zipline: Experience the thrill of a lifetime on the highest, fastest, longest zipline in Kentucky at Black Mountain Thunder Zipline! You’ll soar through the tree canopy on Kentucky’s tallest mountain. This zipline is located in Evarts, KY.
- The Dragon Slayer HWY 160: Between Kentucky and Virginia snakes the Dragon Slayer Hwy 160, a 20 mile destination ride with more than 226 significant curves, breathtaking views and the highest point in Kentucky atop Black Mountain. Come Slay the Dragon yourself.
- Off-Road: Take on Kentucky’s highest elevated off-road park at Black Mountain Off-Road Adventure Area where you can ride your ATV, rockcrawler, dirtbike, side by side and more. Explore over 8,000 acres of trails ranging from beginner to advanced.
- Hike: With mountains in every direction, you are never far from a memorable hiking experience. Tour Kingdom Come State Park and its 14 hiking trails along the ridge of Pine Mountain. Experience Kentucky’s largest old growth forest with a hike through Blanton Forest to Sand Caves or Knobby Rock. No matter where you choose to hit the trails, Harlan County offers rewarding views at the end of every journey.
- Visit the Kentucky Coal Museum: Visit Kentucky Coal Museum in Benham, KY and learn more about the industry that made Harlan County what it is today. The museum is located in the restored Benham Company Store. Exhibits give visitors a glimpse into life in the coal camp as well as an inside look at coal mining. The fourth floor houses an exhibit dedicated to the world’s most famous coal miner’s daughter, Loretta Lynn.
- Visit the Portal 31 Mine Tour: Follow in the footsteps of thousands of Harlan Countians before you as you travel underground into a formerly working mine at Portal 31. A rail car carries you as you learn more about coal mining and the workers who made it successful. Make time to visit the shops and Lamp House Coffee located nearby in the surrounding historic buildings.
- Attend the Poke Sallet Festival: Harlan Countians celebrate their culinary culture with a festival honoring Poke Sallet during the first weekend of June. The Poke Sallet Festival, held in downtown Harlan, is Kentucky’s oldest continuously running festival. Visitors can enjoy fair food, vendors, carnival rides, contests, family friendly shows, and a mix of locally and nationally known bands.
- Pay Homage to Raylan Givens: Harlan is a must see for fans of the FX series Justified. Visit a collection of Justified memorabilia at the Harlan Center. Purchase a Justified souvenir from a local shop. Take photos in front of locations seen in the show’s opening credits. After a day of touring, have dinner at The Portal in downtown Harlan. The Portal is the inspiration for The Pizza Portal featured in Season 6. Located in a former bank, The Portal is now a great place to grab salads, pastas, sandwiches, and pizza (try “The Raylan”).
- Visit Black Mountain: Stand 4,000 feet above sea level as you look out from Kentucky’s highest peak. The peak sits above the city of Lynch so it’s a great spot to add on when you’re visiting attractions in Lynch.
- Discover Pine Mountain Settlement School: Pine Mountain Settlement School served as a boarding school for mountain children before refocusing its mission to the cultural and environmental education it currently provides. In addition to their regular programming, they also host special events like weekend workshops, nature retreats, their Fair Day & Sorghum Stiroff, and their traditional Christmas Nativity Play. The campus has been designated as a National Historic Landmark.
Harlan County offers a variety of experiences you’ll remember for a lifetime. Explore the attractions we’ve highlighted or contact us for advice on building a custom itinerary that reflects the mountain vacation of your dreams.