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The southern portion of the Appalachian Mountains is lush with green woodlands, mountainous terrain, and breathtaking views. About three hours east of Lexington, KY, three and a half hours west of Roanoke, VA, in the heart of the Jefferson National Forest, you’ll find Breaks Interstate Park. This 4,500-acre park is one of only two interstate parks in the country jointly managed by two state park departments.
In 1767, legendary explorer Daniel Boone discovered this area for himself. He named it Breaks because of the “break” in the mountains which came as a much-needed relief after hiking through the Appalachians. The biggest draw to the park is that very gorge, which has been carved over centuries by the Russell Fork, part of the larger Big Sandy River.
Breaks Interstate Park is a great place to hike, bike, swim, fish, and have a picnic. The sights are gorgeous, and the history is fruitful. Book an RV in Pike County and get your adventure started.
If the heat is getting to be too much or if you just want to get away for awhile, take a boat out onto Laurel Lake. Couldn’t fit the boat on your RV camper? Lucky for you, there are pedal boats, hydro bikes, and canoes available for rent at the Laurel Lake boat docks. See the park from a whole new angle as you make your way through this 5,600-acre lake. If it’s warm enough, take a dip in the water and work on your backstroke. Breaks Interstate Park campers will have a field day at Laurel Lake on the Kentucky side of the park.
Birders flock from across the States to visit this area, which has been marked as part of the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail. Pack your favorite pair of binoculars in your RV rental, then search the skies and focus your ears. Virginia is home to over 400 different bird species. Who knows what you’re going to find up there in the sky? If you’re lucky, you might even spot a red-tailed hawk.
If you’ve ever wanted to be a treasure-hunting pirate on the high seas, this place can’t really help you. But if you still want to search for hidden treasures nearby, try geocaching! Use your smartphone's GPS to find one of 60 caches hidden throughout the park. If you want to leave your phone in the camper, the park has some GPS devices available.
Those looking to go camping at Breaks Interstate Park will have just about everything they need for a comfortable motorhome camping trip. There are 138 sites to choose from, some of which have full hookups while others offer 30- or 50-amp electric hookups. Enjoy all the comforts of home with the on-site laundromat, dump stations, and showers. The campground store sells essential supplies, including ice and firewood. Dogs are welcome on the RV campsites as long as they're leashed and under control.
Some of the sites’ driveways are gravel, while others are grassy or wooded. Find the RV campsite that works best for you and your family. Pull-through sites are an option, and some can even accommodate campers up to 62 feet long. If you’re looking for a bit of fun, most sites have a fire pit, and a basketball court and playground are located nearby. Although the park is open year-round, the campground is only open from March to November, so keep that in mind when booking your spot.
Less than an hour away is Pikeville, Kentucky, which is the birthplace of one of the greatest American family feuds of all time. The Big Sandy Heritage Museum in Pikeville has the largest collection of Hatfield-McCoy artifacts and Big Sandy Valley Civil War relics in the world. Immerse yourself in all that Southern history, learn about our country’s pioneering past, and explore the cultures of the natives who used to roam the area before the European settlers came. There are plenty of exhibits and knowledgeable staff to educate you on anything you need to know about the history of the area.
If you’re looking for someplace a bit bigger to take your RV rental, you can always visit the East Kentucky Expo Center, also in Pikeville, and see what events are happening on stage. This 7,000-seat venue has been providing the Pike County area with big-league entertainment since 2005. Major musical acts have rocked this arena throughout the years as well as wrestling shows, kids' shows, the ballet, and the circus. Visit their website to see what acts are performing while you’re in town.
Planning to visit the area during the fall? Fifteen minutes down the road, you’ll find the small town of Haysi, Virginia. Every October, the town hosts the Haysi Russell Fork Autumn Fest. This three-day festival is a celebration of music, food, and fun. Check out the local vibe and see what all the buzz is about. Don’t forget to bring your dancing shoes! This festival has some of the best toe-tapping bluegrass and mountain music you’ll find in eastern Virginia.
When your stay at Breaks Interstate Park has reached its natural end and you’re ready to hit the road, remember to fill your tank. There are no gas stations in the park itself, but within twenty minutes, you'll find five gas stations in just about any direction. Once your rental RV is road-ready, you can head west of the park into Louisville, KY.