Discussion => In Kentucky => Topic started by: RCKT_RCCN on May 28, 2012, 03:17:16 AM

Title: Best View in KY
Post by: RCKT_RCCN on May 28, 2012, 03:17:16 AM
So, what is it? Where's the best overlook? I know it's completely subjective but I'm looking for killer views, big air, wide open landscapes. Maximum exposure. Insane drop offs. What ya got? Pictures help. :)
Title: Re: Best View in KY
Post by: Bazinga on December 10, 2018, 07:46:42 PM
Have ya been to the end of Tarr Ridge?
Title: Re: Best View in KY
Post by: RCKT_RCCN on December 11, 2018, 09:12:06 AM
Have ya been to the end of Tarr Ridge?

I sure have. I'm mostly looking for views outside the Gorge. Places like Pilot Knob, Berea Pinnacles, etc. What do you guys and gals recommend? Are there some good views down in SE Kentucky I don't know about? What about out west?
Title: Re: Best View in KY
Post by: Mark W on December 11, 2018, 12:07:38 PM
Narrowing the several dozen options down to a "Best View in Kentucky" is a really tough choice . . . almost impossibly tough.

Since it seems like you're already familiar with all the RRG viewpoints, I won't spend too much time wtih those, but I do think that the views from the end of Tarr Ridge, Raven Rock, Cloudsplitter, Hanson's Point, Chimney Top Rock, Eagle Point, Auxier Ridge and Courthouse Rock, Indian Staircase area and Adena Arch, and from Gladie Rock are certainly among the best in Kentucky.

Pilot Knob is a great view, too, as are the Berea Pinnacles. But you are already aware of those, although it seems worth repeating them just to encourage anyone else out there reading this to go visit them

The view from the Tater Knob Lookout was great, but as far as I'm aware the lookout is still closed. You can get some decent views from around the base, however.

There are some great views in the Big South Fork, but many of the best are on the Tennessee side. On the Kentucky side, the overlooks at the Yahoo Falls parking area are really nice, especially at sunset. The view of Natural Arch is also pretty terrific. The Three Forks of Beaver overlook in the Beaver Creek Wilderness is worth seeing as well and is similar to RRG overlooks.

The Creech overlook at Kingdom Come State Park is a great view. Chained Rock at Pine Mountain State Park is also a really stunning viewpoint and the trail up there (if you go the "long" way and pass by the small arch, whose name is escaping me) is a really nice hike.

The view from High Rock at the Bad Branch Nature Preserve is phenomenal and the hike up there is delightful as well. Bad Branch Falls is a really pleasant waterfall. Here is one of the views from the top, but this picture doesn't do it justice:


I haven't been, but Breaks Interstate Park is supposed to have some great viewpoints.

Title: Re: Best View in KY
Post by: onemansadventure on May 29, 2012, 08:54:46 AM
Mark, Powderhorn is the arch that you are thinking of in Pine Mountain State Park, that is in that area of the park.  Chain Rock is nice.  There is another overlook in the park that is much lower in elevation that overlooks the Narrows and is neat.  Not vast and generally overgrown now.  Is said that is where Dr. Thomas Walker stood and scouted the way through Pine Mountain.

Chain Rock

I'd say the best are from Pine Mountain in the state.  All the parks along the mountain have at least 1 overlook that is just fantastic.  I just don't think you can beat the vastness of them anywhere else in the state. 

If you start up north, you have a slew of overlooks in Breaks Interstate Park.  Towers overlook is really awesome, but of course it is really in Virginia.  State Line Overlook is the only one that looks into Kentucky, and it is a wide open nice overlook.

Towers Overlook

As you go south along the border, Birch Knob Tower is just crazy awesome.  It is just on the Virginia side by not many feet and looks 360 in all directions. 

Birch Knob Tower, looking into Kentucky

There are several great overlooks in Harlan, Pike & Letcher Counties that are along the roads that go over Pine Mountain or into Virginia.  All 3 counties have recently added platforms and/or cleared brush and trees to offer stunning views westward.

Creech Overlook is nice, there are a couple others in that area, as well as along the Little Shepperd Trail that traverses the ridge in that part of the state.  Raven's Rock is not near as sweeping of a view as the top of the mountain is, but it is a special place, especially in fall.

Raven's Rock

Bad Branch, of course, has High Rock, as Mark noted, as well as Mars Rock.  They are really awesome, and some of my favorite I've been to in the state.

High Rock

The Pinnacle at Cumberland Gap has views into Kentucky and is just outside the state.  If you like history, that overlook adds some extra zing for you.  Skip Tri-State Peak overlook there.

Pinncale Overlook, looking in Kentucky

If you like river scenes, there are some great overlooks in Western Kentucky on cliffs and ridges above the Ohio River that are really nice.  They just overlook Indiana farmlands though.  In case you are wanting just wilderness to look out over.

Cemetery west of Louisville that overlooks the Ohio

Buzzard Rock in McCreary County is one of my favorites.  It is a vast 270 view that overlooks the Big South Fork, and nothing but wilderness.

Buzzard Rock

Others to note are at Frankfort's cemetery that overlooks the city and river.  Also, the same in Devou Park in Covington that overlooks Covington, Newport, the river and Cincinnati, if you like city overlooks.
Title: Re: Best View in KY
Post by: RCKT_RCCN on December 12, 2018, 07:55:06 AM
Wow wow wow. I asked, you guys delivered! I wish we could count the White Rocks overlook in Cumberland Gap. I'm not sure it's technically in KY, but the view into Virginia is fantastic.

As always, Mark and onemansadventure, your photography is superb. Thanks so much for sharing.

EDIT: I bet there are some great views hiding along some of the OHV trails. I've seen a few out there on the interwebs but I never venture down those paths.
Title: Re: Best View in KY
Post by: ShifuCareaga on June 14, 2012, 01:06:57 PM
They've covered most of my favorites. I'l add what I didn't see, but I'm in BSF area and can't add photos atm.
from what they said:
1) Creech and really anything Pine MTN (such as Chained Rock)
2) Pilot Knob
3) Buzzard
4) Breaks
5) Natural Bridge & RRG everything but I guess Chimney Rock

What I didn't see... not really in any order
1) Cumberland Gap
2) White Rocks
3) Pilot Rock/ruins
4) Offroad Adventure Park
5) Pine MTN Lodge from restaurant
6) Pinnacles
7) taller Pilot Knob
8) Columbus Belmont
9) there are several good Ohio River overlooks, but I really like an obscure camping spot: Riverview Park 37.46578, -88.09365
10) Thunderstruck Shoals
11) Lockeegee
12) Furnace Mountain (very special)
13) the turnoff above Standford, used to be a real overlook pulloff, about the age of Pilot Rock
14) Natural Arch (it counts!) & nearby Buffalo Canyon short trail (ticks!)
15) Dick Gap
16) Bear Creek

I know there are more but a lot of my favorite panos weren't overlooks perse.
Title: Re: Best View in KY
Post by: RCKT_RCCN on December 28, 2018, 07:48:59 AM
Shifu coming through as always. I'm going to PM you about a couple of those spots I've never heard of before. :)
Title: Re: Best View in KY
Post by: Cliftyman on December 28, 2018, 10:03:49 AM
- Columbus Belmont State Park (great Mississippi river views)
- There are numerous ridgetop views in Bylew Hollow in Mammoth Cave that are amazing in winter (and you don't expect these in that part of the state)
- Knobby Rock in Blanton Forest SNP... great views of Little Black Mountain
- Blue Head Overlook on Pine Mountain is amazing... I haven't been to High Rock in Bad Branch (yet) but I'd say its right there... basically anything on Pine Mountain is going to be amazing for the most part because you are 1000 feet above the surrounding topography and you usually have 360 degree views
- White Rocks on Cumberland Mountain... though you are technically looking at Virginia
- There are some pretty nice overlooks from Muldraugh hill
- some wonderful overlooks on KY river... High Bridge overlook is great
- The overlook from Hidden River Cave's visitor center down into the cave is pretty nice
- I like that overlook past Cumberland Falls Resort on the right where you can see Pine Mountain way off in the distance

Sorry if I repeated some... I think Blue Head is probably #1 cause you have an amazing view of Skegg Wall

On a sidenote there is a fav of mine in Edmonson county on the road coming out of Brownsville through the Mohawk community.  There is a place on the road where a large wide valley intersects with the green river and the road wraps around it... it has 60-80 foot cliffs and a large waterfall with a cabin in the bottom of the valley... its especially good in winter
Title: Re: Best View in KY
Post by: RCKT_RCCN on December 28, 2018, 10:29:28 AM
Cliftyman, I believe the following post about Blue Head belongs to you: (

Another fantastic spot I'd never heard of before. Must go to there.
Title: Re: Best View in KY
Post by: Cliftyman on June 15, 2012, 04:44:47 AM
Yep, here is a crappy video (amazing how far tech has come in 10 years)

One of these days I'd love to go back and do the entire Birch Knob section of the PMT. 
Title: Re: Best View in KY
Post by: Cliftyman on January 03, 2019, 04:50:55 PM
Cliftyman, I believe the following post about Blue Head belongs to you: (

Another fantastic spot I'd never heard of before. Must go to there.

BTW, its a haul up to Blue Head Overlook.  I believe it took us 2 1/2 hrs to get there from the trailhead.  Great parking area and picnic shelter... hopefully its as good as it was back when they built it (yeah sadly we were some of the first people to use it after it was built a billion years ago).

The trail is a very steep gravel access road, then it turns off onto a dirt access road, then you get to the spine of Pine Mountain after several switchbacks, then its a rocky, rooty ATV width trail... once you get to the Elkhorn City Overlook it gets really interesting.  Highly recommend it.

Title: Re: Best View in KY
Post by: ShifuCareaga on January 04, 2019, 11:06:30 AM
Looks like it's just inside KY