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The Pine Mountain Trail runs along the sawtooth spine of Pine Mountain on the border between Kentucky and Virginia. The area is known for its colorful moonshine and post-Civil War feud history. The Pine Mountain trail has spectacular views across the Cumberland Plateau. There is also interesting geological features and a diversity of plant and animal life. There are waterfalls, arches, rock shelters, cliffs, gorges and bogs. Because of the healthy plant life there is also a very strong black bear population. Shelters are spaced roughly 8-14 miles apart and offer privies, bear poles and water nearby. Unlike other trails that are over-loved, this is a newer trail and a hidden gem.



Pine Mountain Scenic Trail

About Our Partner

The Pine Mountain Trail Conference is dedicated to the Pine Mountain, Kentucky, regional legacy. This area represents one of the last great contiguous stretches of unfragmented forest in Kentucky. While other parts of the region have been developed, strip-mined or heavily logged, Pine Mountain remains relatively untouched. The trail is positioned at the western edge of the Appalachian Mountains. As a result the trail offers commanding views of Virginia, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Tennessee.

Ecological Legacy

If ever there was a hope of preserving an ecological legacy for future generations of Kentuckians, this is it. The mountain has remained a refuge in the face of increasing human intrusion, mainly because it is a rugged nearly roadless mountain.  The area is guarded by jutting sandstone cliffs, tangled rhododendron thickets and large, prehistoric land slides laden with car-sized boulders. Even when deer and turkey were driven out of most of the region, Pine Mountain remained a refuge for wildlife native to the area.

Black Bear Population

Today the mountain serves as the travel corridor for black bear re-entering the state from Virginia and Tennessee. It also provides habitat for the newly restored elk. It is also the home of many species of native Kentucky flora dependent upon the unique physiographic and climatic conditions found only in the Appalachian highlands. Rose Pogonia, Frostweed, and the largest known populations of Yellow Wild Indigo in the Commonwealth are here for your discovery while hiking the Pine Mountain State Scenic Trail. Breached by only six roads in 110 miles, the mountain represents a significant unprotected wilderness area.

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