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Here it is...the new 2015 map for Scenic McCreary County including many of our wonderful attractions and destinations. This map was produced by the fine folks at Kristina's Kitchen in downtown Whitley City.


Back page of the map...


Written by:Eugenia Jones, McCreary County Voice  

Bucket list:  A list of things you want to (or should) experience before you die.

There are bucket lists for life, bucket lists of things to experience in the U.S.A., and bucket lists of things to experience in Kentucky.

So, why not a bucket list for McCreary County? 

Surprisingly enough, it’s not difficult to come up with a bucket list of “must do” experiences in McCreary County that are totally unique, exciting, or just give one an inner sense of satisfaction from enjoying a simple pleasure.

Check out our bucket list of “twenty-five plus one” McCreary County experiences and see how many you can accomplish.  By checking off two “experiences” per week, our McCreary County list can be accomplished in one year

  1.  Take a walk on the “wild side” in the Beaver Creek Wilderness area-one of two federally designated wilderness areas in the state of Kentucky.
  2. Visit Bobby Duncan’s store in Strunk.  If you can’t find it there, you probably don’t need it!
  3. Stand at its base and feel the cool spray of water from Yahoo Waterfall as it comes tumbling over a rock shelter that is 113 feet high.  Depending on your reference point, Yahoo Waterfall is either the highest or second highest waterfall in Kentucky.  Visit in the spring and breathe in the beauty of rhododendron and mountain ivy.  Explore McCreary County’s many other waterfalls.Yahoo Falls
  4. Tube down the Cumberland River.
  5. Experience white water rafting (class 4) at Devil’s Jump on the Big South Fork River.  If that’s too much excitement, just paddle along the Big South Fork, home to many endangered species of tiny fish.  Some of the Big South Fork’s tiny darters have been found nowhere else in the world.
  6. Look for McCreary County’s many federal or state listed endangered/threatened species of plants and wildlife.
  7. Drive by the boyhood home of Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, Wilburn K. Ross.  Continue your drive and explore nearby Split Bow Arch.  Explore the many remaining naturally formed arches throughout McCreary County.
  8. Sit on a front porch at night and listen to the symphony of frogs, crickets, and whip-o-wills.  Summer lightning bugs provide special lighting effects.
  9. Ride the Big South Fork Railway train or drive to historic coal-mining camps such as Barthell or Blue Heron-where coal was once king.
  10. In January, bundle up and enjoy a thermos of hot chocolate as you travel by boat on the Big South Fork or the Cumberland River.  Spot bald eagles along the way.
  11.  Trout fish and/or wet your toes in the cool waters of Rock Creek-a Kentucky Wild River and one of the premiere trout streams in Kentucky.
  12. Fish or hunt.    Walleye, sturgeon, bass, catfish, drum, muskie, bluegill, and other varieties make McCreary County fishing more fun!  Hunters can choose their season with bear, deer, turkey, grouse, and more.
  13. Visit Cumberland Falls, known as the “Niagara of the South” and one of the few places in the world where you can see a rare moonbow during the full moon.
  14. On the McCreary County side of the river, hike one of Kentucky’s most popular hiking trails-Trail # 9- to Eagle Waterfall.  Trail # 9 and surrounding area make up the Cumberland Falls State Park Nature Preserve, home to numerous rare species of plants and animals.
  15.  Gather ‘round and sit a while with some of our friendly locals at one of their “gathering spots.” Share their stories, music, whittling, and companionship.
  16. Own a McCreary County hand-made craft or own/read a book written by a local McCreary County author.  Take your pick of crafts from quilts, pottery, woodworking, photography, and more.  Interesting local books and talented local authors are numerous-with Samuel D. Perry’s “Grandpa Wouldn’t Lie” being a personal favorite!
  17. Hike a portion of the Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail.  The trail begins in northern Rowan County, Kentucky and ends at Leatherwood Ford in Tennessee.   Fifty-four miles of the three hundred and fifteen mile trail are located in McCreary County.  Take a side excursion from the trail and view Princess and Lick Creek Waterfalls.
  18. Visit a McCreary County beekeeper and walk away with some sweet, sweet McCreary County honey.
  19. Try your luck at geocaching in McCreary County.  You never know what you might find or where you’ll end up!  More than thirty “official” caches are located in McCreary County.
  20. Whether by foot, bike, horse, car, or canoe, explore McCreary County’s vast expanse of Daniel Boone National Forest and Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area.  Camp at a local campsite and sit around the campfire at night.  Ghost stories, s’mores, and hotdogs roasted over the fire make it extra nice.  Make tracks in the winter by taking a snow walk and looking for animal tracks.  Find the “Big Dipper” in our clear, star-filled sky. 
  21. Walk the swinging bridge at Ritner.
  22. Walk the Barren Fork Interpretive Trail.  It is handicap accessible and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  23. Stop at one of the many local convenience stores and get an extra thick bologna sandwich (made to order) for picnicking on during your McCreary County fishing trip.  Try some pickled bologna and crackers, too.
  24. Spot a black bear, coyote, or bobcat.
  25. Explore the legend of John Swift’s lost silver mine.  Begin learning about the legend at the local public library and then visit Fiddler’s Rock, one of the landmarks supposedly leading to the Swift’s lost silver.
  26.  In October, take a scenic drive “on the back roads” to Peter’s Mountain and enjoy the autumn trees decked out in their finest reds, oranges, and yellows.  

 What is Geocaching?


"Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played through the world of adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers called geocaches, and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment."  — Geocaching.com





You can join the fun at www.geocaching.com and join over 6 million geocachers online. You may also download the It's Our Nature - Geocaching Tour below. 

 How is Geocaching played ?


  1. 1.Register for a free Basic Membership at www.geocaching.com
  2. 2.Visit the "Hide & Seek a Cache" page.
  3. 3.Enter your postal code and click "search." Postal Code for Whitley City is 42635
  4. 4.Choose any geocache from the list and click on its name.
  5. 5.Enter the coordinates of the geocache into your GPS Device.
  6. 6.Use your GPS device to assist you in finding the hidden geocache.
  7. 7.Sign the logbook and return the geocache to its original location.
  8. 8.Share your geocaching stories and photos online.


What are the rules of geocaching?


  1. 1.If you take something from the geocache (or "cache"), leave something of equal or greater value.
  2. 2.Write about your find in the cache logbook.
  3. 3.Log your experience at www.geocaching.com.


What do I need to go geocaching?


The only necessities are a GPS device or a GPS-enabled mobile phone so that you can navigate to the cache, and a Geocaching.com Membership.


 It’s Our Nature - Geocache tour will take you to unique places in Scenic McCreary County.


 You can download the It’s Our Nature Geocache Tour, insert the GPS Coordinates into your smart phone or GPS devise and start GEOCACHING now! 



It’s Our Nature – Geocaching Tour



Open It's Our Nature - Geocache Tour PDF


Come and Say Hello!

 N 36° 43.543 W 084° 28.150

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 Matters of Fiscal Importance.

N 036° 43.553’ W 084° 28.202’

 Hint:  Va n sbezre Cerfvqrag

On Stage

N 036° 45.353' W 084° 28.570'

 HINT: Oybpxf

Sweet Destination

 N 36° 41.936 W 084° 28.551

 HINT: Raq bs cnexvat ybg arne EE genpxf

Roosting at the General Store.

 N 36° 42.092 W 084° 28.000

Hint: N yvggyr oveqvr gbyq zr.

 Batter Up.

 N 036° 45.267’ W 084° 28.627’

 HINT: Hc, Hc naq Njnl . 

 South Fork Guardian

 N 36° 44.287 W 084° 28.285

 Hint: jryy thneqrq 

 Walkway Cache

 N 36° 39.746 W 084° 26.335

 HINT:  21fg ba gur evtug nf lbh jnyx hc gur oevqtr










Scenic McCreary County offers an adventure for everyone! Check out our video and call 606-376-3008 to start planning your adventure today !  

Yahoo FallsDropping an astounding 113 feet, Kentucky's highest waterfall is a must see that should be at the top of every hikers bucket list. Yahoo Falls is located near Whitley City, in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. A short, moderate .25 mile hike to the falls offers breathtaking cliff lines with a trail adorned with ferns and rhododendron. Upon reaching the falls you can explore the deep rock shelter behind the falls or play in shallow pool of water below. Even in the heat of the summer the forest's canopy offers shade for a pleasant hike . Be sure to take your camera, this is one photo you will not want to miss.

Visitors can also take advantage of the 1 mile loop trail that takes you down to, behind, and back up to the top of the falls.

Yahoo Arch

Yahoo Arch has a height of 17 feet and a width of 70 feet. There is a smaller arch at the left of Yahoo Arch. You can reach Yahoo Arch by going behind Yahoo Falls and continuing on that trail for 0.8 miles Or from US 27 in Whitley City, take KY 700 west. Follow KY 700 approximately 3 miles. The trailhead to Yahoo Arch Trail #602 is a gated road on the right. From the trailhead, follow the old road along the ridgetop. After mile, the trail begins to descend. Stairs with railings mark your approach to Yahoo Arch. Turn left and follow along the base of the cliff for one mile to reach Yahoo Arch.

Directions to Yahoo Falls:

From Kentucky 27 in Whitley City, head west on HWY 700 for 4 miles. Turn right at the sign for Yahoo Falls Picnic Area. At the end of the gravel road you will reach the parking area with restrooms, picnic shelters, and the trailhead for Yahoo Falls.

Banjo player Edsel Blevins is featured in an October 22 story in knoxnews.com. Blevins plays twice a day for passengers of the Big South fork Scenic Railway, performing both at the Stearns depot and the Blue Heron mining camp.

"He has touched a lot of lives," said Becky Egnew, passenger operations manager for the Big South Fork Scenic Railway. "If everyone had a heart as good as his, the world would be a better place."

Read the full story at knoxnews.com

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