Kentucky

    Columbus-Belmont State Park in Kentucky: A Little-Known Bit of Civil War History

    4/29/21 •

    I found a little-known bit of Civil War history at Columbus-Belmont State Park, atop a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River in Kentucky. In an effort to stop Union ships, Confederate troops here stretched a huge chain across the river, anchored on each side by massive earthworks in Columbus, Kentucky and Belmont, Missouri. The river’s strong…

    Bennett's Mill Covered Bridge, Kentucky: The Last Wheeler Truss in the US (1)

    3/15/20 •

    One of my favorite local landmarks is Bennett’s Mill Covered Bridge, which crosses Tygarts Creek near the town of South Shore in northeast Kentucky. Built in 1854, the 158-foot-long beauty is the only example of what’s known as a Wheeler truss bridge in the United States, and one of 13 covered bridges still standing in…

    Blue Heron Coal Mining Camp in Kentucky: A Coal Mine Worth the Side Trip (1)

    4/01/18 •

    A coal mine may not sound like it’s worth a side trip, but Kentucky’s Blue Heron Coal Mining Camp certainly is. You can get there via the Big South Fork Scenic Railway, an open-air train based in the small town of Stearns. At its peak, the remote mine employed 300 men. Recordings in the “ghost…

    Pickett State Park, Tennessee: Amazing Caves and Rock Formations

    12/17/17 •

    …of the adjacent 100,000-acre Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. Considered moderately difficult by hiking standards, the trail winds to a pair of sandstone arches like those in Utah. Open year-round, Pickett State Park is about 100 miles northwest of Knoxville, just south of the Kentucky border, on State Highway 154, which leads…