Situated among the forested highlands of the Appalachians, the town of Harlan is a hub for experiencing breathtaking world-class outdoor adventure, the region’s coal mining heritage, historic architecture and tours, and unique shopping and dining.

You can take an all-terrain vehicle out and tear it up on more than 7,000 acres and 150 miles of varying off-road trails, or you can zipline the 11-line treetop canopy tour at nearby Black Mountain Off-Road Adventure. Hike the scenic Blanton Forest State Preserve (one of 13 large old-growth tracts remaining in the eastern United States with many trees more than 100 feet high) and trek up to Knobby Rock for a sweeping bird’s-eye view of the forest. Also nearby are Kingdom Come State Park and Martins Fork Lake.

See the significance of coal to eastern Kentucky and the world firsthand by taking a real rail car tour of an actual coal mine at the Portal 31 Exhibition Mine. Then learn more about the area’s mining legacy with a visit to the Kentucky Coal Mining Museum right down the road.

Tour the historic downtown and take in more than 40 buildings built between 1910 and 1936. Stop in for a slice at The Portal Pizzeria, named after the infamous local coal mine built in 1917 and featured on the hit television show, Justified. Linger over a specialty coffee at Lamp House Coffee, find a genuine Appalachian keepsake at Craftin’ Around, and shop the many local shops and boutiques along Main Street.

Harlan County Trails

Hidden Gems in the Kentucky Wildlands

Old Mulkey Meetinghouse State Historic Site

The Old Mulkey Meetinghouse is a log church erected in 1804, making it the oldest...

Historic Dils Cemetery & Gardens

Final resting place of famed Hatfield-McCoy Feud chieftain Randolph McCoy and family...

Gravesite of Nathan Goe, Grandson of Daniel Boone

Went for a drive today with Mark Reece from EKU. We went down to Bear Track turned...

Worth Adding to Your Kentucky Bucket List


Surrounded by the pristine Daniel Boone National Forest, Corbin lies at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and is home to Cumberland Falls State Park — deemed the Niagara of the South and site of the only known moonbow existing...