Pikeville-Pike County, Kentucky is one of Kentucky’s most beautiful and interesting destinations. Home to the feuding Hatfields and McCoys, visitors can explore the historic feud sites from this storied past, while taking in breathtaking views and tasting some of our region’s unique flavors.
The Pikeville-Pike County Kentucky Visitors Guide includes details on Pike County attractions, annual events and lodging, and is the perfect first step to planning your trip.
Pikeville Hillbilly Days is one of Kentucky’s most attended festivals, being one of the state’s first festivals of the (mostly) warm months of the year. Hillbilly Days is known for its outlandish character, wide assortment of vendor booths, and charm that has endured for over 40 years. Most importantly, Hillbilly Days is also a fundraiser for the Shriners Hospital for Children in Lexington, Kentucky, a hospital that serves disabled children in the Eastern Kentucky region, among many other areas.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has shut down pretty much all festivals in the state of Kentucky for the foreseeable future, it still doesn’t hurt to reminisce on the Hillbilly Days festivals of yesteryear. Let’s take a look at some photos from previous Hillbilly Days festivals.
Pikeville Hillbilly Days Gallery
Buy Hillbilly Days Merch & Support the Children’s Hospital
Despite being cancelled, Hillbilly Days 2020 merchandise is still available. Purchase collectables for the Hillbilly Days that never was by contacting Robert Adkins at 606-899-9030, or message him on facebook. Hillbilly Days Shirts are $12.00, button pins (white) are $1.00, patches, lapel pins and knives are $5.00 each. Shirts available in adult small thru 3x and youth and infant onesies. Don’t allow COVID-19 to prevent you from showing your support for the Shriners Hospital for Children.
More Hillbilly Days Resources
Wanting to keep track of the updates concerning Hillbilly Days? Follow our Pikeville Hillbilly Days facebook page, or visit www.HillbillyDays.com for updates. As of this writing, Hillbilly Days 2020 has been cancelled, and has yet to be rescheduled. However, it doesn’t hurt to check back from time to time to see if things have changed. You never know.
We here at Pike County Tourism CVB are optimistic that, when the COVID-19 pandemic breaks, people are going to be more than ready to get out and travel again. As you probably could imagine, the tourism industry is taking a massive hit due to the coronavirus, and when the tourism industry hurts, everyone hurts. Because of the hard work that Pike County Tourism CVB has done over the past several years, and the partnerships that we have been blessed to be involved in, 2020 was poised to be another record-breaking year for tourist spending in Pike County. But, the world can be unpredictable at times, and we are staying positive during all of this. As our governor says, “we will get through this together”. So, while we are in quarantine, awaiting this day to come, let’s go over some interesting attractions to plan for. What else do you have to do?
When COVID-19 Breaks, Let’s Head for the Breaks
Despite healthcare professionals urging people to go outside for some sunshine and fresh air (but still maintaining social distancing), the fear surrounding this pandemic is keeping many people locked indoors. So, we predict that once COVID-19 breaks, people will flock to one of our many beautiful outdoor attractions. Pike County has no shortage of them, with places like Grants Branch Park in Stone, Kentucky, to the Lick Creek Horse Trail, and one of our most prized gems, Breaks Interstate Park.
Breaks Park features everything an outdoor enthusiast loves, from rustic hiking trails, to biking, rock climbing, and more sight seeing than you can shake a stick at. Known as “the Grand Canyon of the South”, everyone who visits the Breaks should check out their Rhododendron restaurant for dining that overlooks this 5-mile, 1650 feet deep gorge. The Breaks also offers Elk Viewing Tours, and boasts of a 100% success rate in seeing Elk. We’ll all need to reconnect with nature after being cooped up for so long.
Let’s Get Back Together with Pike County Cruise-Ins
Our Pike County commissioners have been very active in supporting tourism in our county, and have provided invaluable support for us to do what we do best. One tourism initiative that has came about over the past year is the establishment of Pike County Cruise-ins. Although independent car clubs have been hosting amazing cruise-ins for years, it was the desire of the commission, as well as Pike County Tourism CVB, to promote a series of Pike County Cruise-ins that bring folks together from different clubs, and to attract car enthusiasts from all over. Cruise-ins give us the opportunity to not only check out killer hot rods and classic cars, but also to reconnect with one another. Each Pike County Cruisers event features food vendors, ice cream, a swap meet (no yard sale items please), and free dash plaques for the first 100 visitors. This event is normally scheduled for the 3rd Sunday of each month, April through September, but as is true with every event, we will have to wait and see when the first Cruisers meet will happen this year.
Catch a Show at our Local Theatres
One thing we all miss is going to the theatre. Whether it’s a movie theatre, or a theatre for the performing arts, being without such experiences is excruciating for many of us. Whenever this thing breaks, our local theatres will be ready to entertain, with a variety of shows for all walks of life to enjoy.
Pike County is blessed to have two amazing theatres for the performing arts, Artists Collaborative Theatre and The Appalachian Center for the Arts, or “The App” for short. Artists Collaborative Theatre has suffered its own setbacks as of late, with their building burning down not too long ago. However, the show must go on, and they will be showcasing productions at the Breaks Interstate Park until a new facility is built.
The App will be hosting several productions later this year, beginning with The Cleverlys, which has been rescheduled from their May 1st date to June 4th. Later this year, more amazing productions are scheduled for the App, such as The Marvelous Wonderettes, The Kevin Prater Band, Sleep in Safety: The Legend of Octavia Hatcher (their highly anticipated October production), and so much more. Check out the Appalachian Center for the Arts page for details.
Let’s not forget the Appalachian Wireless Arena, which has several great shows planned for the second half of the year. Steve Miller Band with special guest Marty Stuart is scheduled for July 22nd, The Price is Right is scheduled for July 26, with Poison performing on August 8th, Toby Keith performing August 14th and Lynyrd Skynyrd performing September 10th.
Hank Williams Jr., a concert that was scheduled to headline the now cancelled (but may be rescheduled) Hillbilly Days, is now scheduled for October 23.
Part of what helps us cope with the current circumstances is knowing that we are doing our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to our community, and looking forward to the day that we can again welcome visitors to our beautiful region to enjoy the many great things our community has to offer. Until then, making travel plans is certainly a good way to pass the time. If you have questions, or need help planning your Pike County getaway, feel free to reach out to us here.
We continue our photo blog series “Beautiful Pike County, KY” with a sampling of photographer Jeffery Justice’s excellent camera work. Justice has dedicated his career to supporting economic growth in Eastern Kentucky, serving as a business and innovation champion at SOAR Innovation, a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting innovation-driven small businesses and entrepreneurs in Appalachia Kentucky.
Justice has also worked in the area of tourism in Eastern Kentucky by capturing some of the many amazing events Pikeville-Pike County has hosted over the years. Justice has a knack for capturing the human experience in his photography, with a visual impact that tells a story all its own. Be sure to check out his gallery below, and reach out to him if you are looking for photography commissions.
Jeffery Justice Gallery
Feel free to reach out to Justice for commission requests.
Subjects: Nature, Architecture, Culture, Tourism E-mail:Click here Phone: 859-779-8282
Photo taken by Mary Reed Runyon near Nolan WV at the Martin County/Pike County, KY border.
Due to increased regulations concerning COVID-19, Pike County Parks has been temporarily shut down.
Given our current situation in dealing with COVID-19,
community members and visitors are becoming increasingly more afraid of going
outside, let alone traveling. While Kentucky governor Andy Beshear has been
adamant that Kentuckians and our visitors take the utmost precautions in
limiting contact with others, small groups gatherings, and so forth, he, along
with the Kentucky Department of Travel and Tourism also realize the potential
ramifications of total seclusion. Complete quarantine (locking yourself in your
house) is not advisable for those who show no signs of illness, and can, in
fact, have negative mental health consequences.
So what can you do for recreation while also being
responsible? Here are five suggestions for “social distancing” friendly things
to do in Pikeville/Pike County, Kentucky. Keep in mind that these suggestions
are subject to any mandates made by the local, state and federal government concerning
Way back in the day, Crusin’ was a highlight for families on
a Sunday afternoon, or love birds who just wanted to enjoy some alone time
together. With gas prices being at an all-time low, it’s time to load up the
family, or take your special someone on a cruise through the winding, beautiful
mountains of Eastern Kentucky. Just about anywhere you go in Pike County, there
is roads that go through breathtaking scenery. Parks such as Breaks Interstate
Park, Jenny Wiley State Park, or Grants Branch Park in Stone, Kentucky make
perfect stopping points for lunch or dinner.
2) Enjoy the Great Outdoors with Our Lakes and Parks
Speaking of Lakes and Parks, the great outdoors gives you plenty of social distancing and alone time to gather your thoughts. There are a wealth of stress relieving activities that you can do in our beautiful parks, such as hiking, biking, fishing, sight-seeing and more. As mentioned above, Breaks Interstate Park, Jenny Wiley State Park, and Grants Branch Park are all excellent choices for going on an adventure.
3) Take A Stroll Down Historic Downtown Pikeville
Sometimes you just need to take a calm, peaceful walk. Historic Downtown Pikeville is the perfect place for a leisurely stroll, featuring the Pikeville City Park, the Pikeville Lake (also a perfect spot for fishing), a swinging bridge, and several mom-and-pop restaurants that offer take out and curb-side. While in the City Park, remember to practice social distancing (6 feet), and take the opportunity to wash your hands thoroughly in the restroom facilities. Downtown Pikeville and the nearby bypass road are very popular locations for 5k runs, so instead of barring yourself in your house, maybe some exercise is just what you need.
4) Dine out with Curb Side & Carry Out
During this difficult time, it is important that we support
our locally owned restaurants. It can be easy to get caught up in all these
headlines and forget to support the businesses that enrich our community. Many
of our locally owned restaurants offer take-out and curb side delivery of lunch
and dinner. Our mom-and-pops are counting on us, and who doesn’t love the
unique and delicious flavor they bring?
5) Horseback Riding at the Pike County Horse Trail
Have a horse? We have the trail for you. Located in Lick Creek, the Pike County Horse Trail provides you all the social distancing you need with a relaxing ride through the ruggedly gorgeous mountains of Pike County. With a rustic camping area for parking your hauler, as well as a public restroom for keeping those hands washed, the Pike County Horse Trail has everything that you need to enjoy a ride through the Appalachian mountains.
We here at Pike County Tourism CVB are optimistic that the
COVID-19 pandemic will pass, and many of our cancelled events will be
rescheduled for a later date. In the meantime, we encourage you to do all you
can to be safe and responsible, and to be sure to get the exercise your mind,
body and soul needs during this stressful time.
Note: Please follow local, state and federal guidelines for travel before participating in any of the above suggested activities.