Nothing beats autumn in Appalachia! We’ve made a list of 10 things you must do to make the most out of fall in Harlan County!
-Visit The Apple Tree– High near the summit of Kentucky’s tallest peak, the Creech family’s orchard produces beautiful produce. Their store along Hwy 119 in Cumberland sells apples as well as products made from the apples. Their cider a famous fall treat! Find all the produce you’ll need for fall baking and put a little Harlan County goodness into those apple crisps, apple stack cakes, and apple butter!
-Buy a Fall Shirt- You’ll need something festive to layer under your flannel! Pick up the classic Hollerween shirt from Hill & Holler or order something custom from Mountain Merch. You’ll be pumpkin patch perfect in your fall fashion!
-Enjoy a Fall Festival- There’s no shortage of celebration in Harlan County this fall. From long established traditions like The Kingdom Come Swappin’ Meetin’ and the Pine Mountain Settlement School Fair Day & Sorghum Stir Off to new favorites like PossumFest and the Downtown Harlan Vintage Fall Festival, you have lots of events to choose from. Check out the Ultimate Guide to Fall Events in Harlan County for more information and more festivals to choose from.
-Friendly Fall Competition- Several fall festivals offer opportunities for visitors to compete in a variety of categories. Join the hot dog eating contest at the Dog Days of Kentucky festival. Bake your way to victory at the Evarts Hometown Pumpkin Patch baking contest. Check out each festival for more information.
-Drive Pine Mountain- Pine Mountain really shows off in the fall. For a casual drive through lovely fall foliage, take Laden Trail. If you’re looking for something off the beaten path, Little Shepherd Trail follows the crest of Pine Mountain. Take your time and enjoy the fall colors!
-Take a Hike- Fall is the reward for surviving a long hot summer. The mild weather makes it the perfect time to hit the hiking trails. See an old growth forest glow in fall colors like it has for hundreds of years at Blanton Forest. Climb soaring rock formations for views from Kingdom Come State Park. The memories of your fall hikes will get you through the cold winter days ahead!
-Taste Fall- Some of your favorite restaurants will be revamping their menus to reflect seasonal flavor. Pick up a Jack-O-Frappe or a Harvest Sandwich at Moonbow Tipple Coffee & Sweets. For something stronger, sip a Cranberry Whisky Sour at the Harlan County Beer Company. Order up something hot on a cool morning from Lamp House Coffee. At Raven Rock Coffee, Tea, & Curiosities, you’ll find fresh baked fall flavors sold alongside a shop of curiosities including cryptid and ghostly gear! Fall foods abound across the county!
-Take Home the Hand Made- With festivals taking place almost every weekend in September and October, you’ll have so many opportunities to browse booths set up by local artisans. Don’t miss the Festival of the Mountain Masters where every item is handmade, handcrafted, or home baked. In addition to these weekend opportunities, you’ll always find local artisan work at places like Sassy Trash and Roper’s Market. Soon we’ll all be spending more time indoors but you can surround yourself with one of a kind items that will remind you of mild fall days when you explored local merchants and festival vendors!
-Do Something Spooky- Fall is also spooky season and Harlan County offers some scary ways to mark the days! Work up your courage to visit a haunted house at Butcher Holler Spook House or Fright Nights at Kingdom Come State Park. Is local lore more your style? Tour historic Lynch Kentucky with “spirits” at each stop telling their own haunting stories. If your schedule doesn’t work with these special events, try booking your own tour of paranormal and true crime in Downtown Harlan with Bloody Harlan Tours.
-Trick or Treat- Little goblins have multiple opportunities to collect Halloween candy. In addition to the door to door trick or treating on Halloween night, both Harlan and Cumberland host trick or treat events in their downtowns. You’ll also find churches, organizations, and others hosting trunk or treat events around the county!
Every season in Harlan County is beautiful in its own way and we hope you’ll do everything you can to live fall to the fullest this season!