When COVID-19 Breaks, Travel Awaits

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

Photo by Chuck Summers

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

Artists Collaborative Theatre
Photo by Larry Epling

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.

Photo Blog Series: Beautiful Pike County, KY – Mary Reed Runyon

Our fourth installment of our photo blog series “Beautiful Pike County, KY” focuses on local favorite, Mary Reed Runyon. Runyon has been a supporter of Pike County Tourism CVB for many years, and has captured some of our most beloved nature and scenic photographs. Runyon’s photographs capture the raw natural beauty of Eastern Kentucky in such a breathtaking way, with fog rolling through the Pike County hills, vibrant green, yellow and red vegetation, and vivid blue skies full of thick clouds.

We here at Pike County Tourism CVB are so appreciative for Runyon, not just for her contributions to our marketing material, but for enriching our lives with her artistic passion, as many of our community members would agree. Check out her gallery below.

Mary Reed Runyon Gallery

Mary Reed Runyon

Check out Mary Reed Runyon’s facebook page below.


Subjects: Nature, Architecture, Scenics, Culture
Facebook Page: Click here


Photo Blog Series: Beautiful Pike County, KY – Larry Epling

The second installment of our photo blog series features Larry Epling, a long time photographer and supporter of local tourism here in Eastern Kentucky. Epling has volunteered his photography skills and many hours to Pike County Tourism CVB over the past several years, capturing not only special events such as Hillbilly Days and Hatfield and McCoy Heritage Days, but also Pike County’s natural beauty. Many of the photos featured in our tourist material are courtesy of Epling.

Check out Epling’s gallery below, and feel free to reach out to him for not only photography services, but drone photography as well.

Larry Epling Gallery

Larry Epling – Appalachian Artist

Epling is open for photography commissions, as well as drone photography. Take a look.

Licensed Drone Operator
Subjects: Aerial Photography, Nature, Architecture, Scenics, Culture, Tourism
Website: Click here
E-mail: Click here
Phone: 606 653-2005
Instagram: Click here

Photo Blog Series: Beautiful Pike County, KY – Chuck Henson

This is the first installment of a series of photo blog posts we are making showcasing beautiful Pike County, Kentucky. As is true about our musical talent, the Eastern Kentucky region is ripe with photographers who are, in our humble opinion, among the best in the country. As with any art form, photography requires not only patience and technical knowledge, but also an eye for color and the perfect angle.

Each post will feature a different photographer from our region, highlighting some of the rustic, natural beauty Appalachia is known for. If you like what you see, feel free to reach out to the photographer for commissions. Their information is posted below.

This collection reflects some of Chuck Henson’s work. Henson is not only a photographer, but is also a valued member of Pike County’s hospitality industry.

Chuck Henson Gallery

This selection of photographs is drawn from Chuck Henson’s “A Walk At Grapevine” series. Also featured is a beautiful black and white photo of the Fordson Building, home of the Stone Heritage Museum in Stone, Kentucky.

C.D. Henson Photography

For more information on Chuck Henson, his photography and commission inquiries:

Subjects: Nature, Architecture, Scenics, Culture
Website: Click here
Facebook Page: Click here

(Live Update) Pike County Event Cancellations Due to COVID-19

Pike County Tourism CVB would like to reassure visitors and community members that we are working diligently in monitoring event cancellations due COVID-19 precautions. Many of these events are likely to be rescheduled for a later date, which will be made known on our Pike County Events feed. If you have and travel questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to us on our Contact Us page. Ticket refunds may be offered by the event organizers/venues for these events. Reach out to the respective venues for refunds.

Current Event Cancellations/Rescheduled Events

Event cancelled. May be rescheduled for Fall (TBA).
The March event has been cancelled.
This event has been cancelled.
Rescheduled for Sunday, July 26, 2020
Event postponed.

Event cancelled.

Event cancelled.

Event cancelled.

Event rescheduled for October 23, 2020
Event cancelled.
Event cancelled.

Event postponed (date TBA).