State Highpoints – Kentucky - 4,139-foot Black Mountain
Kentucky’s highest peak and the 27th highest US state summit,
4,139-foot Black Mountain is located in the far southeast portion of Kentucky, near the Virginia border.
With 1,919 feet of prominence, Black Mountain is the most prominent peak in Kentucky. The summit is a driveup, and is wheelchair accessible.
Historically, this summit was private property, owned by a coal company. Visitors would fill out and mail in a waiver that absolved the coal company from any
liability in case anything bad happened to you on your visit.
The waiver is located at https://highpointers.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/ky-release.pdf,
and visitors would carry a printout of their signed waiver with them on their visit to the KY highpoint.
However, there are new reports that the summit area is now owned by the state, and that a waiver is no longer needed.
To reach this highpoint, go to Norton, VA, and go 10.0 miles southwest on US 23 to Appallachia, VA.
Turn right onto Virginia State Road 68, cross the bridge, then turn right onto Virginia State Road 160,
and go 7.7 miles on 160 to the Virginia/Kentucky state line. About 50 yards before the “Welcome to Kentucky” sign on your left,
make a sharp left turn onto a narrow, paved road. Ignore a dirt road with a yellow gate, and stay on the narrow, paved road,
that has a sign reading “FAA En Route Radar Lynch. KY.” Follow this narrow, paved road for 1.4 miles and pass an FAA tower on your right.
Shortly after the FAA tower, the road turns to dirt. Continue for 0.1 mile on the now dirt road, and reach a fork in the dirt road.
The left road will take you 0.9 mile to the highpoint. If this road is gated, you can park at the fork and walk up.
If the road is not gated, you can drive up the rough road to the flat highpoint area that has many towers, structures, and a radar dome.
There is a nice plaque off to your left, and the geodetic marker is about 30 feet beyond the plaque,
off to the right on the right-most boulder in the clump of rocks. There are no expansive views from this tree-laden highpoint,
but there are bears in the area. Bear spray is a good idea. Don’t try to climb any of the towers or other structures.