Harlan County, Kentucky is known for it’s steep mountains and rich mining history. It is also nationally recognized as the setting for the hit FX television show “Justified”. The local offroad park is named after Black Mountain, the highest point in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Since it’s opening to the public in October of 2005, Black Mountain Off-Road Adventure Area has become the number one destination for adventure in Southeastern Kentucky and surrounding areas.
Black Mountain Off-Road Adventure Area features approximately 150 miles of trails across nearly 10,000 acres of rugged mountain terrain. Created from strip mining roads and logging roads, trails at Black Mountain offer a variety of experiences and levels of difficulty.
The majority of trails at Black Mountain are multi-use trails and open to all types of vehicles including ATVs, side-by-sides, dirtbikes, trucks, jeeps and buggies. Some trails are restricted for UTV, ATV or dirtbike use only.
Most trails at Black Mountain are clearly marked and classified depending on the degree of difficulty. Many trails are classified both for UTVs/ATVs (Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced) and 4×4 Trucks (Class 2, 3, 4 or 5).
There are two main trailheads that gain entrance to the park. The Evarts Trailhead is located on on KY 2430, eight miles east of Harlan on KY 38, Evart’s Trailhead enters the park from the south side of Black Mountain via Trails 10 and 12. The trail system’s main office and gift shop is located at the trailhead. Amenities and facilities are currently available in the town of Evarts. The local Dairy Hut is a do not miss while you’re in town. ATVs and UTVs are permitted on the roads in town as long as you’re wearing a helmet per Kentucky statutes.
The Putney Trailhead is located directly off U.S. 119 eight miles north of Harlan, Putney Trailhead enters the park from the north side of Black Mountain via trails 45 and 48. Putney Trailhead is privately operated by Harlan County Campground & RV Park and provides direct access to the trail system without having to get onto pavement. The campground has tons of features including cabins, primitive and electric camping, RV hookups, showers and even a laundry facility. The one drawback is that the closest gas station is close to ten miles away, so bring extra fuel or fill up while you’re traveling with your group on the Evarts side of the mountain.