EVEN THOUGH THE STATE OF KENTUCKY IS MORE KNOWN FOR ITS CAVES, AND ITS MOUNTAINS DON’T REACH HIGH ELEVATION, BLACK MOUNTAIN STANDS TALL AT 1.263 M (4.145 FT) AS THE HIGHEST MOUNTAIN PEAK IN THE STATE.
Black Mountain is located in Harlan County, Kentucky, USA, as a part of the Cumberland Mountains near the Virginia border.
Black Mountain and the surrounding region are mostly known for its coal mines. The town of Lynch, located at the foot of the mountain, was one of the largest coal mining towns in USA.
A coal company named Penn Virginia now owns the summit, and they allow the access as long as you sign the waiver.
The summit of Black Mountain can be reached by a steep and narrow road, called Black Mountain Ridge Road, but it’s neither a typical tourist destination nor a good viewpoint. Because of the multiple radio towers and transmitter buildings at the summit, it looks more like a construction site. Luckily, there are varieties of hiking trails in the Cumberland Mountains beyond Black Mountain. The Black Mountain Ridge Road is reached by the Route 160, which also crosses some of the best scenery in the state and even has an overlook with a good view of the mountain.
There are no maintained campsites on the Black Mountain, but you can camp almost anywhere, as long as you’re not near active mine sites.
THE FIVE HIGHEST PEAKS IN KENTUCKY:
- Black Mountain – 1.263 m (4.145 ft)
- Dominion Benchmark – 1.109 m (3638 ft)
- Little Black Mountain – 1.042 m (3419 ft)
- Fox Knob – 997 m (3271 ft)
- Grays Knob – 973 m (3192 ft)
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