|Distance||0 miles roundtrip|
|Best Seasons||Spring, Summer, Fall|
- Summitting the highest point in Kentucky
- Visiting a strange peak
Having visited 39 state highpoints at the time of writing, I can easily say that Black Mountain is my least favorite (followed by Mississippi). It's one thing to lack views on an actual mountain peak, but the owners of this land don't even pretend to appreciate that this mountain is special in any way. Despite the long, uncomfortable drive to the top, you'll unfortunately want to spend very little time here.
As evidenced by the cornucopia of communications towers on the summit as pictured below, Black Mountain is privately owned and access is a privilege. Before visiting, you're supposed to sign this waiver and mail it to the address at the bottom. A coal company owns this land, and up until 1999 when Kentucky purchased the mineral and timber rights to the summit, coal mining threatened the summit, with mountaintop removal mining activities being planned in the area.
The summit marker is a small brick and concrete monument surrounded by overgrown grasses and shrubs located on the eastern side of the communications cluster, as pictured below. If it weren't for the orange traffic cone next to it, I would have missed it entirely. At 4145 feet above sea level, Black Mountain is taller than any other mountain in Kentucky by nearly 500 feet. Kingdom Come State Park for the Appalachian views you crave.
Well, that was another highpoint. Check it off your list and never return! Connect with me using the social media links below and share your adventures!
Keep your dog on leash to respect this private property. You can visit in the three warmer seasons, but snow and ice may make a winter journey impossible or incredibly dangerous. You're unlikely to encounter anyone here, especially given the lack of scenic beauty on such a tall mountain.
Black Mountain is far from any interstates or major cities; use the Google Maps link to navigate to the top of the mountain. Whether coming from Kentucky or Virginia, you will take the steep and winding State Highway 160 most of the way to the top. At the crest of the highway in between the Virginia and Kentucky welcome signs and on the south side of the road, you'll find the unmarked dirt road leading to the summit. Although I successfully navigated this road to the top in a small sedan, the road is very rough and high clearance is recommended.
Google Maps Directions
Parking, Fees, and Facilities
Parking is free! There are no facilities here or anywhere nearby.
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