Cumberland Falls & Big South Fork - Fultz Fotos
Grandview - 2

Barthell's Mining Camp - 1

1930's Chevrolet Truck
Barthell's Mining Camp
Big South Fork National Recreation Area
McCreay County, Kentucky

Perhaps I should just keep my mouth shut, but the Big South Fork National Recreation Area which spans the border of both Tennessee and Kentucky just 25 miles to the west of I-75 is the hidden gem of the National Park System. Arches, waterfalls, a wild river, overlooks, and yes! A train. Two weekends ago myself and my other half Lisa rode the Big South Fork Railway a 3 hr trip that takes you from Stearns, Kentucky into the recreated Blue Heron Mining Community. I'm going to give the train ride a huge two thumbs up, what a treat! Along the way you pass by the privately owned Barthell's Mining Camp, a reconstructed 1910 mining camp. Years ago myself and my good friend Jason Haley stopped by here out of curiosity. Although we didn't stay long we got to see several cool things while walking around the property and wanted to return. I've tried several times to return, each in the off season, which unbeknownst to me, they close for the winter. When Lisa and I passed through on the train a couple of old vehicles caught my eye along the tracks and then seeing that someone was there I just had to stop by when our ride was over. Located just outside the park property Barthell's is like travelling back in time, featuring a company store, a bath house, a doctors office, a barber shop among several other things you can tour a real mine and you can tour the grounds as well for a fee which helps the owners care for the property. There are 12 mining homes on the property that can be rented for lodging while staying in the area too. Lisa and I didn't have much time for tours but we were glad we stopped by as we learned that we are definitely going return in the future for a stay. Before we left we grabbed a couple shots of the abandoned automobiles along the railroad tracks, with the permission of the owners. Next time I'm down there I will to have to thank them as this turned out to be one of my all time favorite abandonment photographs I have ever taken.

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