we hadn't been out of town for the entire summer, or at least out of town on non-family business. the good wife was desperate to escape, so this past weekend we undertook a sojourn down the the low Appalachian Mtns. of eastern Kentucky. the KY Appalachians are notorious as one, if not the, most poverty-stricken areas of the USA. images flow out of the area of toothless, shoeless, brainless 'hillbillies' living in trailers 'down in the holler'. i've been a resident of KY for 31 of my 36 years on earth, including 4 years of education at Transylvania U., the oldest higher-ed institution west of the Alleghenies (1780- pretty damn old). that said, my experience has almost entirely taken place in the city-state of Louisville, or in the 'heart of the Bluegrass' Lexington, which is to say i've never been to deep KY Appalachia.
Pine Mt. was the first KY state park, and has a lodge and several amenities. we went, though, for the hiking. as a family we don't go often, but enjoy it when we do. within about an hour of Pine Mt./Pineville there are numerous and well-known outdoor recreation areas, with the most famous being Cumberland Gap. we decided on visiting 5 areas total: Lilley Cornett Woods, Bad Branch Nature Preserve, Kingdom Come State Pk., Cumberland Gap Nat'l Park, and Pine Mt. State Pk. the first entry is for the Lilley Cornett Woods.