Follows Hwy 80 at Elk Horn City near the Breaks into Virginia and continues eastward
Stewards are the Adventure Cycling Club - http://www.adventurecycling.org/
Recommendation: A review of the route should be conducted due to traffic changes over time to determine any safety issues or concerns. Once route is confirmed, website should be update and route promoted and marketed.
A tributary of the Big Sandy River, the Russell Fork River is a scenic series of rapids, pools and tortuous twists. World class whitewater rafting opportunities are available on the river running through the Breaks Canyon (Breaks Interstate Park) below the John Flannagan Dam four weekends in October when released from the dam create raftable water.
Whitewater rating: Class III-V+, depending on the stretch of river. Ability exists to run easier rapids or harder rapids without running the other. Kayakers or rafters will enjoy this intense river.
Russell Fork Whitewater outfitters offers day trips and assistance for families and groups.
276-530-7044 and 270-530-7243
Russell Fork Whitewater Adventures
Russell Fork Whitewater Adventures offers visitors opportunity to run whitewater rapids of Class III-V+ .
Outfitter works with individual or family's needs and skills on river rafting.
Greenway: Russell Fork Greenway
Russell Fork Greenway could connect the town of Haysi in Dickenson County to Buchanan County and on to Kentucky through Breaks Interstate Park. It is a non-motorized trail proposed to connect the breaks Interstate Park with Flannigan Dam along the banks of the Russell Fork River.
Hiking Trails: Chestnut Ridge Nature Trail
Chestnut Ridge Nature Trail is made up of the combination of the Ridge Trail, Laurel Branch Trail and the Geological Trail. Rated as easy/moderate.
This half-hour, self-guided nature trail takes its name from the interesting rock formations and faults along its way. The path varies from smooth to rocky, and it changes grade frequently. On hot days hikers enjoy the cool air along the rock face. This trail can be combined with the Ridge Trail for a loop back to the Stateline Overlook. Trail: .35 mile, self-guided. Degree of difficulty: Moderate.
Hiking Trails: Lake Trail (at Breaks Interstate Park)
This easy walking trail, popular with wildlife watchers, takes visitors along the undeveloped side of Laurel Lake past marshes and inlets. This trail joins the Laurel Branch Trail and also connects with the pool and dock areas. Entry points are at Potter's Knoll, the visitor center, and the dam. Trail: .5 mile.
Named for the stream it follows its entire length, this trail extends from the lower end of Laurel Lake to Grassy Creek. From the lake to a rock formation called The Notches, the terrain is flat and easy. The last .5 mile through a mixed forest of hemlock and hardwoods, the climb becomes steep, rocky, and uneven. Rhododendron thickets reward the hiker with their showy pink booms in June and July. Trail: 1.25 miles.
Degree of difficulty:Easy at first, becoming difficult the last .5 mile.
Frequent grade changes characterize this scenic path that leads along the edge of cliffs to provide an almost continuous canyon view. The hike is spectacular in spring and fall. Protect children from edges where there are no railings. Trail: .75 mile. Degree of difficulty: Difficult.
This hike follows the base of the cliffs about 350 feet beneath the major overlooks, following the contours of the land until it becomes rocky the last .5 mile. It offers a different perspective on the rock cliffs, overlooks above, and canyon below.
Bird watchers favor this self-guided nature hike across the top of a ridge covered with hardwoods and mountain laurel. After an easy, level beginning, the trail becomes steep near The Notches. Trail: .5 mile, self-guided. Degree of difficulty: Easy at first, then difficult.
Hiking Trails: River Trail (at Breaks Interstate Park)
Hikers are advised to wear sturdy shoes, take water, and travel with a companion on this extremely steep and rugged trail with many switchbacks, descending to a gentler grade along the river. Outstanding views. Trail: 1 mile. Degree of difficulty: Difficult.
Short .3 mile trail with breathtaking views. Degree of difficulty:portions are difficult.
Horse Trails: Breaks Interstate Park Horse trails
Used to offer trail rides but due to insurance issues, this activity is no longer offered. Trails are open to the public including a popular one at the Knob Tower. One of the horse trails begins at the riding area located on the right side of the road as one turns towards the cottage area and continues to the campground providing a 30 to 40 minute ride.
There is a designated trail for mountain biking in Breaks Interstate Park. It begins just before one reaches the cottages on the left hand side of the road. The trails go in behind the Naturalist's residence where there are approximately 13 miles of trails in a stack loop system design.
Riverfront Trail: Town of Grundy
In the works
The Town of Grundy is developing a Riverfront Trail along the Levisa Fork River and Route 83.
Statewide trunkline trails: Great Eastern Trail
Great Eastern Trail - Major trunkline trail traverses the northern border of Virginia and connect with trails in both Alabama and New York. Anticipated to use the Cumberland Mountain Trail which comes out of Tennessee at the Cumberland Gap, cuts west to connect with the Pine Mountain Trail on its way to Breaks Interstate Park then continues northeast across the state.
Virginia Birding & Wildlife Trail: Lonesome Pine Loop VBWT
Poplar Gap/Sunset Hollow and the Breaks Interstate Park which is shared with Dickenson County.
These sites are part of the Lonesome Pine Loop. Each site provides mountaintop birding year round as well as Spring and Fall Migrants. These sites and the area between each are prime locations for migrating warblers as well as many other species.
OTHER NOTED INFORMATION OR ATTRACTIONS
Portions are good to fair.
Portions are excellent and other portions are poor.
No Full time parks & recreation directors
State Park: Breaks Interstate Park
4,600 acres with approx. 946 acres in Virginia.
Known as the Grand Canyon of the South, the park has breathtaking views of the 5-mile long, one-quarter deep sandstone gorge carved by the Russell Fork over millions of years through Pine Mountain. Amenities: The park has motor lodge, two-bedroom cottages and campground with electric, water and sewer hookups. There is a convention center, restaurant, visitor center and gift shop. Also swimming pool, picnicking, amphitheater, trails for hiking and mountain biking, boat dock and fishing on 12-acre Laurel Lake, whitewater rafting on Russell Fork and horseback riding.
WMTH CORPORATION PO BOX 51153 BOWLING GREEN, KY 42102 PHONE (270) 792-5300 FAX 721-0004