Return to Your Roots in Pikeville-Pike County, KY

As difficult as the year has been so far, having some time away from the hustle and bustle has reminded us there are more precious things to this life than long hours at the office. Families have become acquainted with what is truly important; experiencing life together with those we love. Now that things are slowly opening back up, we have seen a resurgence of families who are choosing Pikeville-Pike County, Kentucky over more commonly traveled commercial destinations.

It’s Time To Go Outside

Pikeville-Pike County, Kentucky offers experiences that are authentic, that can be shared by the whole family; experiences that bring the family closer to their heritage, and the way things used to be. Families have exchanged trips to theme parks for a stroll down the countryside, a lazy afternoon kayaking down the river, and some good ole fashioned fishing. Tourist traps with 3-D attractions have been replaced by tours such as the Hatfield McCoy Feud Tour or a tour of Butcher Holler, the homeplace of Loretta Lynn. Such tours enable families to discover their heritage together, and learn from the challenges and triumphs of the people that came before us.

Instead of zoos, families are visiting Pike County to go elk viewing, or for a hike into the rustic and beautiful Appalachian mountains of Eastern Kentucky. Breaks Interstate Park, a local favorite for those who truly seek outdoor adventure, offers a wide variety of such attractions for all ages. Known for its hospitality and character, the sleepy town of Pikeville, Kentucky features small mom-and-pop shops and a thriving live entertainment scene. With record numbers of visitors over the past few years, Pikeville-Pike County, Kentucky is quickly becoming a must-see, must-do for family vacations.

Pikeville, KY: Reconnecting Families

Our visitors are looking for attractions that enable them to reconnect. Many of our attractions are quiet and deliberately paced, which encourages families to talk, laugh, and enjoy without distraction. Sure, there are plenty of in-your-face activities in Pike County for thrill seekers to enjoy, such as ATV Trails, motorcycle loops, ziplining and white water rafting (in September) just to name a few. But nothing beats the tranquil cast of a line, or a calm horseback ride in the mountains to strengthen family bonds, and create lasting memories.

It’s time to take an excursion somewhere different.

Even if your family doesn’t have roots in our region, we guarantee your experience here will still inspire you, and will bring you closer to those you hold dear. When you’re ready for a weekend adventure, or a week-long excursion with family and friends, reach out to us, we will be here for you.

Being your Pikeville/Pike County, KY Getaway

If you would like assistance in planning your Pikeville/Pike County, Kentucky getaway, feel free to reach out to us by email: marketing@tourpikecounty.com, or by phone at (606) 432-5063. Also, if you would like to download or request a brochure by mail, click below.

Pikeville History Moments: Poet Effie Waller Smith

Below is an excerpt found on the YouTube page for this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jx28A4GOeME&t=70s

Effie Waller Smith was born to two former slaves and became one of the first female African American poets to be published in a national literary magazine. She was born and raised near Pikeville, Kentucky. There she taught school, wrote and published poetry, made influential friends, and explored the Breaks of the Big Sandy–sometimes called the Grand Canyon of the South. She moved to Wisconsin in her late 30s, then adopted a deceased friend’s daughter. The last years of her life were spent with her adopted daughter, Ruth, in Neenah, Wisconsin.

Please consider following Pikeville History Moments on YouTube.

Getting Involved: Hatfield McCoy Historic Sites Need Your Help

Perhaps the greatest draw for Pike County, Kentucky is the legendary sites of the Hatfield McCoy Feud. These sites, which include the Hog Trail Cabin (known as the “Preacher Anse” Cabin), the McCoy Homeplace and Well, the Hatfield Cemeteries, Dils Cemetery (resting place of the McCoys), and an assortment of other sites all carry with them not only incredible history, but also great responsibility.

Devil-Anse

Recently, Pike County Tourism CVB, along with volunteers, prepared these sites for Memorial Day weekend. This was no small task, which involved not only financial investment, but also labor; weed eating, mowing, cleaning, raking, pressure washing staircases, and placing wreathes. Given the financial hardship bought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, such an investment has taken its toll on our budget, and although we remain optimistic for our local tourism industry’s recovery, we are looking for ways to keep these precious sites beautiful going forward.

This would be a perfect time for you to get involved, especially if you are a descendant of the Hatfields and/or McCoys. Pike County Tourism has always cherished our relationship with the Hatfields and McCoys, some of which have dedicated time and money to boosting tourism in our region, and keeping the feud story alive for many to experience and learn from.

How Can You Help?

In Pike County Tourism CVB’s over 27 years of service to these sites, we have never asked for help. However, given the circumstances, we are in need of help to maintain these wonderful sites.

Baby-Grave
Roseanna’s Baby’s Grave

There are three ways in which you can get involved:

Make an online donation: Click below to make a secure donation online with PayPal. A PayPal account is not required. This donation will be used to offset spending for Hatfield McCoy Feud Sites’ upkeep.

Volunteer your time: Not all donations need be monetary. Contact us by phone (606) 432-5063, or by email if you would like to arrange a time to volunteer at one of our historic sites. We would love to work with you.

Mail in a donation: Feel free to mail a check of any amount, made out to Pike County Tourism CVB, P.O. Box 1497, Pikeville, KY, 41501.

The 2020 Hatfield McCoy Historic Sites Cleanup

Thank you to all of our supporters for volunteering time and resources to this project.

Giving Back, a Message From McCoy Descendant Ron McCoy

“Cleaning our cemeteries is more than a responsibility or obligation. It is a privilege and an opportunity to honor our heritage in a tangible way.  For me, working in our cemeteries has always been a moving and personal experience. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt closer to my ancestors than when I’ve had a rake or shovel in my hand” said Ron McCoy, direct descendant of Randolph McCoy.

Each year, McCoy, along with many other descendants of both the Hatfields and the McCoys, visit Pike County, Kentucky, not only to reconnect with these historic sites, but to restore them. Without their volunteered time, upkeep of these sites would otherwise be impossible.

“Pike County’s historic cemeteries are more than just family memorials. They are cultural heritage sites,” said McCoy. “When we work together to maintain our cemeteries, we are preserving our mutual heritage as well as honoring the lives of those who came before us.”

Volunteer opportunities are available throughout the year, and are not limited to Hatfield and/or McCoy descendants, buy anyone who has a love for the history.

“Volunteer participation and support is vital in maintaining and conserving our cemeteries. Most cemeteries in Pike County are privately held and therefore are not supported by public funds. They are maintained through the efforts of hard-working volunteers who offer their time, labor and money to ensure that our cemeteries are preserved for future generations. “  

Pikeville-Pike County Visitors Guide

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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 Pike County Kentucky Gallery