Hiking and Backpacking
There are over 80 miles of hiking trails in the park ranging from short, easy 1/4 mile hikes to the 21 mile Ridge Trail. More...
Backcountry trails lead to remote, wilderness areas. Backcountry camping is allowed in designated sites with a permit. Permits are free of charge and can be obtained at the park visitor center.
Reservations for backcountry camp sites can be made up to 90 days in advance by calling (606)248-2817.
Photo by Chuck Summers
Signtseeing and wildlife watching
The history and natural world come alive throughout the park. A multitude of historic sites can be seen in the park including: Civil War fortifications, the ruins of an old iron furnace, and hand-hewn cabins and split rail fences at Hensley Settlement.
Wildlife is abundant in the park and includes: deer, beaver, fox, bobcat, bear, and over 150 species of birds!
Fantastic geologic formations abound and mountain streams offer a wonderful respite from the heat of the summer.
The trails and vistas are a paradise for photographers! The mountains come alive in the spring as wildflowers bloom throughout the park. The summer is a great time to photograph some of the abundant wildlife and the wide array of historical structures and sites. The southern mountains burst in to color in the fall as the leaves begin to change in preparation for the winter. Snow transforms the mountains in to a winter wonderland.