Discover Breathtaking Rock Formations At This Southern US State Park

If you want to go on a short walk to see a jaw-dropping view over the Appalachians, then Kingdom Come State Park is the place for you. According to Under 30 Experiences, it is one of the "must-see parks in the Southeastern U.S." and this small but perfectly formed park can be found nestled into the crest of Pine Mountain in Kentucky.

This dramatic territory was named after "The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come," a novel about the Civil War by John Fox Jr., an author hailing from the state, which was later made into a film. Kentucky is one of the coolest states to take a road trip, and the mountainous landscapes make for a breathtaking driving experience. The park is ideal for hiking and biking on the trails as well as boating and fishing on the lake. If you bring your binoculars, you may even be lucky enough to spot a black bear from the overlook trails!

Know before you go to Kingdom Come State Park

The trails at Kingdom Come State Park are open all year round, so the landscapes can be viewed in all seasons, but make sure to wear adequate footwear and avoid climbing on the rocks as they may get slippery. If you're planning a trip with friends, campsites allow two tents maximum which can be booked between April to October up to a year in advance. Primitive campsites are available at the park for $16 to $22 per night, with access to toilets, a fire ring, and a picnic table.

There are 14 spots available in total and the two best sites are next to the lake with electrical outlets, which can be reserved by calling the parks department. Staying by the lake may be ideal for those who want to fish for the trout, crappie, catfish, and bass that ply the waters here. If that's your plan, make sure to buy a Kentucky fishing license before you go. The overlook trails are the ideal place to watch the sun rise and set so that is a bonus if you decide to stay overnight. Adventure lovers will be right at home here as there is more than enough to sustain an action-packed trip. If you just want to go for the day, there are two picnic pavilions open to the public that have grills and access to bathrooms. 

What to do at Kingdom Come State Park

The jewels in the crown of Kingdom Come are the dramatic rock formations, namely Log Rock which resembles a fallen log but is actually a natural bridge formed from sandstone, and Raven Rock, which juts out 290 feet in a 45-degree angle. The trails at Kingdom Come State Park are all less than one mile long so it's relatively easy to find the park's beautiful vistas, but if you want a longer route then they can be combined.

To see the rocks, the Laurel Trail goes to the base of Raven Rock and then onto a sandstone cave amphitheater, the Log Rock Trail goes to Log Rock and the Raven Rock trail overlooks the Black Mountain as well as the Cumberland River Valley. Several of the other trails take in Raven Rock from different angles and another trail goes to the lakeside. For mountain bikers who love a view, there is the 38-mile Little Shepherd Trail which runs from Whitesburg to Harlan along the Pine Mountain crest. As well as fishing, pedal boating is an option on the 3.5-acre lake. There is also a gift shop selling souvenirs and a nine-hole miniature golf course overlooking the water. If you have a taste for Kentucky, then extend your vacation by visiting some of the 18 bourbon distilleries on a Southern road trip.