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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Breaks Interstate Park

A few weeks ago, I received a nice e-mail from a gentleman named Austin Bradley. He just recently started working at Breaks Interstate Park and, as he explained, "Part of my job is encouraging groups and corporations to use our facilities and experience the natural beauty of our Park." Breaks Interstate Park is located in the rugged Appalachian Mountains on the border of Virginia and Kentucky on State Route 80.

I think he was surprised when I told him I knew of the park, but had never visited. During a splendid week last Fall, which I haven't told Appalachian Tours readers about yet, Hubby and I did a tour down through West Virginia, across southwestern Virginia, and over into Kentucky. In an e-mail back to Austin, I referred him to a trip map I'd posted online and said, "you'll see how close we were to you. I think it was Grundy where we stopped at a Hardees for lunch. There was a very talkative older fellow there and he recommended that we drive through Cedar Breaks. We weren't having the best weather, though, and still had a good ways to go."

The weather I am referring to looked like this pretty much all day that day.
I had to chuckle at his reply: "You rode through my hometown! We have quite the supply of talkative older fellows, and they all seem to congregate at Hardees."

If you look at the map embedded below, you'll see the green-shaded area that is Breaks just to the left of the center of the image.


View Pipestem to Middlesboro in a larger map

The route we rode took us around instead of through the park. It was the quicker route. Of course now I am kicking myself for not riding through the park. That night, once we'd reached our destination near Cumberland Gap, I looked on the Internet to see what the old guy was talking about. I'm not sure how I missed it while planning the ride, but he was right to say we should've ridden through.

Check out their web site: Breaks Interstate Park. It describes the park as having an area of 4600 acres along "A 5-mile gorge, plunging to 1650 feet, in this Grand Canyon of the South."

Hubby and I definitely  plan on exploring WV-20 again. Hopefully in dry weather this time. Hopefully we'll be able to make a weekend of it and zip over to Breaks Interstate Park.

Have you ever been? If yes, what did you think? I know we loved riding in that part of the state.

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