Kingdom Come State Park

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Kingdom Come State Park
Kingdom Come State Park is located in Kentucky
Kingdom Come State Park
Location in Kentucky
Type Kentucky state park
Location Harlan County, Kentucky
Coordinates 36°59′48″N 82°58′44″W / 36.99667°N 82.97889°W / 36.99667; -82.97889Coordinates: 36°59′48″N 82°58′44″W / 36.99667°N 82.97889°W / 36.99667; -82.97889
Area 1,283 acres (519 ha)[1]
Created June 11, 1961[2]
Operated by Kentucky Department of Parks
Status Open year-round
Kingdom Come State Park Official website

Kingdom Come State Park is a part of Kentucky's state park system in Harlan County located atop Pine Mountain near the city of Cumberland. It was named after the 1903 best-selling novel The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come by native Kentuckian John Fox, Jr.[2] Features of the park include Raven Rock, Log Rock, and a 3.5-acre (1.4 ha) mountain lake.

Park features[edit]

Natural formations[edit]

Raven Rock is a naturally bare, large rock face composed mostly of limestone, leaning at a 45° angle over 290 feet (88 m) in the air.[1] Nearby is the Cave Amphitheater. In the back of the Cave Amphitheater are deep crevices that house thousands of bats. Also within the park is a natural sandstone bridge called "Log Rock," which greatly resembles a petrified tree which has fallen over. Unfortunately, the Log Rock has been severely vandalized over the years, and the underside is now covered with people's names that they have spray-painted or scratched onto the stone. There are also numerous overlooks to the valleys below. The most popular of these is the Creech Overlook, which provides a stunning view that is said to encompass several states.

Wildlife[edit]

Black bears inhabit Kingdom Come State Park and adjoining lands in the Cumberland, Kentucky area. Black bears naturally recolonized extreme eastern Kentucky counties (Harlan, Letcher, Bell, and Pike) over the last three decades from the neighboring states of Virginia, West Virginia, and Tennessee. The species was not reintroduced to Kingdom Come State Park or any portion of Kentucky east of Interstate 75.[3] It is illegal to knowingly or unknowingly feed black bears.[4]

Numerous other wildlife species call Kingdom Come State Park home as well, including the state-threatened common raven, fox, multiple species of hawks, cottontail rabbit, multiple bat species, coyote, multiple species of amphibians, and an array of insect life.

Activities and amenities[edit]

Fourteen hiking trails, a 9-hole miniature golf course, lake with paddle boats, picnic shelters, fishing, and primitive campsites are available at the park. The park offers access to Little Shepherd Trail, a 38-mile (61 km) primitive road for mountain biking and adventure driving that winds across the Pine Mountain ridgetop to the city of Harlan.[5][6]

Nearby[edit]

The Kentucky Coal Mining Museum, Portal 31 Mine Tour, and Benham Schoolhouse Inn are operated by the Kentucky Community and Technical College System in Benham.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "About". Kingdom Come State Park. Kentucky Department of Parks. Retrieved September 20, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "History". Kingdom Come State Park. Kentucky Department of Parks. Retrieved September 20, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Black Bears in Kentucky". Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. Retrieved September 20, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Human-Bear Conflicts". Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. Retrieved September 20, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Things to do". Kingdom Come State Park. Kentucky Department of Parks. Retrieved September 20, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Little Shepherd Trail & Kentennia State Forest". Harlan County, Kentucky. Harlan County Outdoor Recreation Board Authority. Retrieved September 20, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Kentucky Coal Museum and Portal 31". Kentucky Community and Technical College System. Retrieved September 20, 2013. 

External links[edit]