The best thing about vacation plans in a camper is that if the weather is going to be cold and rainy where you are going, you can go somewhere else. Which is exactly what happened to us a few weeks ago. We were set to take a trip to Lake Michigan when rainy and cold weather was moving in. After having such a cool spring and really desiring a camping trip where we only had to pack shorts instead of long johns, we decided to head south to Breaks Interstate Park along the Kentucky-Virginia border near Elk Horn City.
Breaks Interstate Park is 4600 acres of forest with a 5-mile gorge, plunging to 1650 feet. It is commonly referred to as the "Grand Canyon of the South." This gorge was once a seabed and is now a cradle of botany, with ferns, tea berries, rich mosses, Mountain Laurel and Rhododendron adding to the landscape.
In my opinion, it is a hikers paradise. In fact, expert hiker "Outdoorsman Cory Ramsey" has ranked it number one in his Top 5 Unspoiled Hiking Spots. (Kentucky Living June 2013) Some of the trails in the park are easy trails, such as the Lake Trail, Beaver Pond Trail and Loop Trail.
We spent one morning hiking the Prospectors' Trail, Geological Trail and the Overlook Trail. Even though mileage wise, these weren't long trails, we knew that it would take some time to navigate them and planned accordingly by packing lunch and plenty of water. I will have to say that even though these weren't the most challenging hikes I have been on, it was the roughest terrain by far. I would definitely recommend sturdy hiking boots (or tennis shoes) and a walking stick, which, of course, I had left behind in the camper. At one point, I was on my hands and but scooting down the trail. (Ramsey says the trails are among the most challenging he has ever seen--Kentucky Living June 2013.) After our 4 hour hike, my six-year old stated, "Best-day-EVER!" I asked if it was better than Disney and she said yes! Gotta love that kid! My nine-year old said that Disney was just a teensy bit better, though.
|Laurel Branch Trail--Yes, that is the trail.|
|Easy hike on the Lake Trail|
This was honestly the best hike I have ever been on, and I have quite a few miles under my belt. It seemed every few minutes I was awed by another view. I recall saying Wow! so many times but feeling the word didn't express what I was feeling. The Prospectors' Trail follows the base of the cliffs about 350 feet beneath major overlooks and provides incredible views of the rock cliffs and overlooks above, as well as the canyon below. The Geological Trail features incredible rock formations. I would recommend picking up the free descriptive guide from the Visitor's Center, which will provide more information about what you are viewing.
|Cabin Rentals Lakeside|
|Vista a 5-minute hike from campground|
|We loved listening to Carl's stories!|