McCreary County, KY Sinkhole Map
McCreary County, KY FAQs
What is the history of McCreary County, KY and what are its notable landmarks?
History of McCreary County, KY
- McCreary County was formed in 1912 from parts of Whitley, Pulaski, and Wayne counties. It is named after James B. McCreary, a former governor of Kentucky.
- Prior to European settlement, the area was inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Shawnee and Cherokee.
- The first European settlers arrived in the late 18th century, primarily of Scottish, Irish, and English descent. They established farms and small communities in the rugged Appalachian terrain.
- The county experienced significant growth during the late 19th and early 20th centuries with the development of the coal mining industry. The abundant coal reserves in the area attracted miners and led to the establishment of mining towns and communities.
- McCreary County played a role in the logging industry, with the dense forests providing timber for various purposes, including lumber and railroad ties.
Notable Landmarks in McCreary County, KY
- Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area: A significant part of the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area falls within McCreary County. This federally protected area spans both Kentucky and Tennessee and offers scenic beauty, hiking trails, camping, rock climbing, and opportunities for outdoor recreation.
- Yahoo Falls: Located within the Daniel Boone National Forest, Yahoo Falls is one of the highest waterfalls in Kentucky, cascading over a limestone cliff. The falls are accessible via a short hiking trail and offer a picturesque setting for nature enthusiasts and photographers.
- Cumberland Falls State Resort Park: While most of Cumberland Falls State Resort Park is in neighboring Whitley County, a portion of the park extends into McCreary County. The park is known for its namesake waterfall, Cumberland Falls, which is often referred to as the “Niagara of the South.” Visitors can enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, and guided rafting tours on the Cumberland River.
- Stearns Coal and Lumber Company Store: Located in the town of Stearns, the Stearns Coal and Lumber Company Store is a historic landmark that dates back to the early 1900s. It was once a bustling company store serving the needs of coal miners and their families. Today, it houses a museum that showcases the history of the coal mining industry and the town of Stearns.
- Historic Downtown Whitley City: Whitley City, the county seat of McCreary County, has a historic downtown area with buildings that date back to the early 20th century. The downtown area retains its small-town charm and offers a glimpse into the county’s history.
What are the recreational activities available in McCreary County, KY?
Here are some of the recreational activities available in McCreary County, KY
- Hiking and Nature Trails: McCreary County is home to numerous hiking and nature trails, allowing visitors to explore the breathtaking beauty of the region. The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area and the Daniel Boone National Forest offer an extensive network of trails with varying difficulty levels, providing opportunities for day hikes or longer backpacking trips.
- Camping and RVing: There are several campgrounds and RV parks in McCreary County where visitors can enjoy camping amidst the natural surroundings. Whether it’s pitching a tent in a designated campground or parking an RV, camping enthusiasts can find suitable spots to spend the night and enjoy the serenity of the outdoors.
- Fishing and Boating: McCreary County is known for its abundance of lakes, rivers, and streams, providing ample opportunities for fishing enthusiasts. Visitors can cast their lines in the Cumberland River, Big South Fork Cumberland River, and Laurel River Lake, among other water bodies, in search of various fish species. Boating is also popular on these waterways, with boat ramps and marinas available for easy access.
- Horseback Riding: McCreary County is a great destination for horseback riding enthusiasts. The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area has designated trails specifically for horseback riding, offering a unique perspective of the stunning landscapes and scenic vistas.
- Wildlife Observation and Photography: The natural beauty of McCreary County provides opportunities for wildlife observation and photography. Visitors can spot a variety of bird species, deer, elk, and other native wildlife while exploring the trails and forests. Photographers can capture the picturesque landscapes and capture memories of their outdoor adventures.
- Hunting: McCreary County has designated areas for hunting during specific seasons, offering opportunities for deer, turkey, and small game hunting. Hunters must adhere to state regulations and obtain the necessary licenses and permits.
- ATV and Off-Road Adventures: Off-road enthusiasts can explore the scenic trails of McCreary County on ATVs or off-road vehicles. The Daniel Boone National Forest and designated off-road areas provide opportunities for thrilling adventures and exploration.
- Scenic Drives: McCreary County offers scenic drives, allowing visitors to take in the beauty of the landscapes without leaving their vehicles. Road trips along routes like Kentucky Highway 90 and U.S. Highway 27 provide stunning views of the surrounding mountains, forests, and rivers.