Overview. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Kingdom Come State Park. Having run an ultramarathon the day before, I was pleased to find a lot of drive-up and walkout hikes with the longest being a mere 1.25 miles. Meanwhile, the amazing things you get to see has to place this park among the best in the ‘minimal effort, maximum views’ category! Here’s the quick tour in words and then pictures below:
Gazebo. The drive into the park is a long, winding trek up the mountainside, but once inside the main gate, you’ll find a gazebo next to the park information board. The gazebo is a great little place to chill and relax - which is exactly what I did. The views are somewhat broken up by a golf course below, but with the last remnants of morning fog in the valley, it was a beautiful sight.
Lake. Across from the gazebo, I walked out to the lake where a family was having some fun across the way. This small lake was pristine with plenty of ducks nesting in the area. This too was quiet and peaceful - especially for a Sunday when I’d expect more visitors.
Log Rock and beyond. Of all the drive-up hikes in Kentucky, this might be the best one. Log Rock is a long, spindly arch that is accessible on both sides. What lies beyond the arch is an enormous rock outcropping that while steep, is easily traversed and makes an amazing lunch spot. The waves in the rock are a real sight to see.
Creech Overlook, 12 O’Clock Overlook, and Bullock Overlook. On the north side of the park are a trio of overlooks with each having a unique flavor. Creech is at the east end and a short drive on the one-lane Little Shepherd Trail. 12 O’Clock Overlook is in the middle of the three and has the best views, but the ‘longest’ walk. Bullock Overlook is the easiest to access, but could be skipped altogether.
Raven Rock. From the Possum Trail, it’s only an eighth of a mile down to Raven Rock. Walking around the back of the rock first, you can see how the outcropping had formed and once around it, you can enjoy expansive views from a somewhat steeply slanted slab. Careful with your footing on these outcroppings - especially if it’s not dry. There is an adjacent outcropping that can be explored on your way out as well.
Knife Ridge. Returning to the trail and moving west, you’ll see powerlines above and will join the Ivy Trail. Take this trail out to the Knife Ridge to enjoy a fantastic view from a long sliver of rock poking through the soil around it. This formation is amazingly similar (though smaller) to what you see from the Birch Knob Tower some 40+ miles north on Pine Mountain. It. Is. Beautiful.
Little Shepherd Trail. After exploring the highlights of the park, I departed using the Little Shepherd Trail - a one lane, paved road that connects the separate hiking areas of Pine Mountain - from north to south - Breaks Interstate Park, Pine Mountain State Scenic Trail, Kingdom Come State Park, and Kentennia State Forest.