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Old 01-03-2016, 11:27 AM
 
25 posts, read 33,608 times
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Hi there,

A few friends of mine and I are going to be near the Kentucky-Tennessee border around 27 (Stearns, KY area) in April and we have a weekend away from the family. What would be some great activities, restaurants, etc in the area?

We are not sure where we'd be staying yet, either. We'll possibly be camping but also open to cabin rentals, resort towns (if there are any), etc. We'd be open to staying anywhere in the general area. Probably not more than an hour or so away from there (not interested in going all the way up to Lexington or down to Knoxville if we don't have to).

Also, we might want to go fishing one morning as well. Any idea as to some great fishing areas around there?

We are from Illinois and want to get out in nature a bit and get away from it all, while also being open to experiencing some real southern Kentucky culture and conversations.

Thanks!
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Old 01-03-2016, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Lexington, Kentucky
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The Daniel Boone forest is truly one of the most beautiful parts of the country. It is truly gorgeous and very rugged in spots- it is very big, so I don't know where to begin...

Daniel Boone National Forest Picture link

One of my favorite parts is the Red River Gorge


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpMbng61DtU


Big South Fork Scenic Railway | Where coal, lumber, and railroads were King…

Stearns itself is probably most noted for the Big South Fork Scenic train ride.
Big South Fork Scenic Railway - 14 Photos - Arts & Entertainment - Stearns, KY - Reviews - Yelp
There is the Big South Fork Scenic Railway (a historic/scenic train ride)

Big South Fork Scenic Railway - 14 Photos - Arts & Entertainment - Stearns, KY - Reviews - Yelp

Nearby you will find Cumberland Falls

Things To Do - Cumberland Falls - Resort Parks - Kentucky State Parks

And there is the tri-state Peak trail on the Cumberland Gap where you can see three states at one time (Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee).


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8a5Z_-NlAk


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJqqF4qLr1g

Welcome to Kentucky...hope you have a wonderful visit, just keep in mind though certain parts can be very dangerous.
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Old 01-03-2016, 07:50 PM
 
Location: New Albany, Indiana (Greater Louisville)
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There is lots of hiking in that area and a large number of sandstone arches. Sheltowee Trail is very long (100+ miles) and starts near Somerset. There is a state park with lodging south of Somerset KY (General Burnside State Park) that is surrounded by Lake Cumberland. Stearns area doesn't have lot of restaurants, maybe a handful of fast food places in the whole county. Somerset is the shopping hub of that area. Big South Fork Scenic Railroad is nice. Keep in mind most areas south of metro Lexington are dry / prohibition counties so if you want to buy alcohol do so around Lexington.
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Old 01-04-2016, 11:43 AM
 
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Crazee Cat Lady stated that some parts of the Daniel Boone National Forest are dangerous - she's right. The danger mostly consists of the Red River Gorge's high cliffs with sudden drop-offs, from which far too many young people (usually from out of state - mostly from Ohio) have inadvertently plunged to their deaths or to severe injuries, usually after arising to nature's call in the middle of the night from nearby camping sites (often after over-imbibing), or by foolishly attempting to jump across a deep gulf to a nearby rock formation, as happened recently at the Red River Gorge's Chimney Top Rock.

So be cautious. Wear good hiking boots, use a hiking stick, don't go jumping around, and if you camp and need to get up at night, take a flashlight and avoid cliffs. If you camp in a cliff-top area, check it out fully before sunset. Better yet, take a camping potty with you and use it, then dispose of the contents legally in the morning. Don't get drunk or do drugs - the forest is a dangerous place for partying.

There are also poisonous snakes and poisonous plants which are native to this area. Leave all plants alone, learn to identify poison ivy and give it a wide berth, and if you encounter a snake, back off. There are also an increasing number of bears, including mamas and babies in the spring. Back off but don't run away if you meet a bear - instead, throw a rock or whatever is nearby at him or her, make a lot of noise, and don't chase after the bear (they'll win the race) or climb a tree (they're better climbers than you are).

But - the forest is absolutely beautiful, and will be filled with gorgeous wild flowers in the spring. Cumberland Falls should be running at its full best, and the redbuds and dogwoods should be in bloom. Temperatures should be moderate and pleasant (take layers along), and April is a fine time to visit. Cumberland Falls State Park has a historic lodge plus cabins, and people in the area are generally friendly and helpful (with a few sourpusses, of course).

So do your homework - posting here is a great start - plan your trip, and enjoy your vacation.
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Old 01-04-2016, 12:24 PM
 
25 posts, read 33,608 times
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Thank you all for the info. We're in our late 30s, so there won't be any partying going on. A couple two three beers, maybe - but nothing crazy. Funny thing is, I know that the chances of being attacked by a black bear are slim, but the horror stories, however few, really stick with you. Tent camping in Bear Country will be interesting and I do wonder just what the risks are and if a lodge/cabin does make more sense.

Does anyone know if fishing is allowed/good in the area? I assume one would need a Kentucky fishing license, even though it's in a national park. Or is it not allowed? I'm asking for a buddy who likes to fish and my guess is he'd want to go once.

Thanks again.
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Old 01-04-2016, 12:42 PM
 
Location: In the Pearl of the Purchase, Ky
9,513 posts, read 15,138,667 times
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Looked on ky.gov about tourism and didn't know if some of this may be of interest to you.

Tourism

Tourism

I live in western Kentucky and am very sorry to say I haven't done much traveling to the area you're checking on. I've been as far east as Morehead, and seen a lot of what there is to see off I-65 between Bowling Green and Louisville.
Have a good trip and tell your friend to catch plenty of fish!
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Old 01-07-2016, 06:42 PM
 
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We have property in Sawyer which is in the northern part of McCreary county. We have camped there and yes a bear did come up to the trailer one night. The ticks can be horrible. We used permethren and soaked our pants and socks in it. Then sprayed our boots and dogs with it. Worked wonders...

You can search on YouTube "fishing on the Cumberland river". It's exciting! There's Noes Boat ramp on the Cumberland river that is really nice. I would think good fishing. I can't wait to try it.... as it's only about 3 miles from our property. If you want I can send you a map. Google earth is awesome!

We love Sonnys in Somerset. Very good food.
Also as Censusdata said, Sheltowee trail has a wonderful campground and cabins you can rent. When we were there, other campers closer to the woods seen a bear.
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Old 01-07-2016, 06:44 PM
 
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Oh and you have to go to the Dairy Bar in Whitley City. Amazing food. So down home and small town... ish.
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