Photo taken by Mary Reed Runyon near Nolan WV at the Martin County/Pike County, KY border.
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 COVID-19.
1) Cruisin’ Pike County’s Winding, Wonderful Roads
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.