BALD KNOB — [UPDATE: The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area was affected by the October 1 federal government shutdown, closing certain attractions and campgrounds.]
McCreary County has long been a popular destination for hikers and kayakers, and now bikers have reason to come join the fun.
On Saturday, celebrated nationwide as National Public Lands Day, the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area unveiled the newly-updated Ledbetter Traillhead at Bald Knob.
According to Big South Fork Superintendent Niki Nicholas, park staff worked in partnership with the Big South Fork Mountain Bike Club worked six months to double the amount of biking trails on the park.
“With 60 miles here, we have more than any other park in the country,” Nicholas said, adding that the Big South Fork is a model the National Park Service is watching.
The Kentucky Bike Trail accesses a 16-mile short loop as well as a 33.8-mile long loop reaching as far as Gobblers Knob in Tennessee. This system has moderate- to advanced-level terrain, making it a worthy addition to the greater Big South Fork system which was recently honored by the International Mountain Biking Association.
“The Association has named our park an ‘epic ride,’ of which there are less than 100 worldwide,” Nicholas said.
In addition to Mountain Bike Club representative Lynn Phillips and McCreary Judge-Executive Doug Stephens, the park superintendent asked that the youngest and oldest attendees participate in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the trail.
“The park can be enjoyed by everyone in the family,” she said.