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“Beautiful ride through Big South Fork”

Big South Fork Scenic Railway
Ranked #1 of 5 things to do in Stearns
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: 2/13/2017 Note! Big South Fork Scenic Railway is under new ownership and management. Brand new website will be posted 2/20/2017 with complete 2017 schedule. We are not operating January, February and March. Excursions will resume April 1st. The K&T Special, our signature excursion, is a gorgeous three-hour scenic train ride from Stearns, Kentucky to the National Park Service's wonderfully restored Blue Heron Mining Community. In 2017 e'll also offer a variety of special event trains during the year, such as the Moon-shine Limited and South Fork Santa Express. This season we are spending nearly a million dollars on refurbishing cars and engines, and upgrades to the Depot and the railway. Stay tuned! -Diana Bybee and Sam Carpenter
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access, Food available for purchase
Reviewed June 15, 2013 via mobile

Beautiful ride through some beautiful areas of southern Kentucky. There are a few different ticket options for you to purchase and the website isn't very helpful or descriptive. After reading the descriptions, I settled on purchasing the ride and trail tickets. This included lunch and allowed time to explore the Blue Heron Coal Mine. Turns out I could have saved money if I had just purchased the regular adult ticket. The website made it sound like there wasn't a "layover" at the coal mine for the basic ticket, but there was a good hour and half layover for you to go and explore the area.

I'd spring for the $30 ticket if you want to go explore some of the 7 and 8 mile trails around the mine. You can also pack a picnic lunch and enjoy it at the picnic tables at the coal mine site. Great idea if you don't want to pay $4 for nachos or BBQ sandwich or $2.75 for a hotdog. Again, if you get the ride and trail ticket you get your choice of BBQ or hotdog for lunch with drink, chips and a moonpie.

We had a beautiful ride and there is a great tunnel you get to go through. Sit on the left side of the train during both parts of the trip. There are great photo opportunities from the left side.

Wonderful way to spend a Saturday or Sunday!

6  Thank wmtip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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120 - 124 of 156 reviews

Reviewed June 13, 2013

Arrival at the Stearns depot is not much from the outside, but the inside has beautiful wooden floors. The depot is very clean including the restrooms. Live music is provided while you wait to board the train. Gift shop available. Personnel are all very friendly. The train takes you to Blue Heron coal mine camp. You are there for 1-1/2 hours. Many trails to take, but unless you are an experienced hiker it is best to stay on paved paths as time passes quickly. Many open buildings with push button speakers that tell you a tale about life "back when" in the mining camp. Very educational and lets you see how hard life was back then. Be sure and walk the wooden bridge that goes across the South Fork river. It is very high and provides a great scenic view. More live music provided at the camp. Very small gift shop there. Plentiful bathrooms. On the train be sure and sit on the left side. Beautiful scenery. Some of the largest boulders I have seen around this part of the country. Beautiful view of the river. River clear enough to see into it. Many snakes sunning on the rocks, other wildlife plentiful. I have to mention what a great and friendly Park Ranger was at the mine. He really loves his job and so do the persons playing music. Cost was 18.00 adult and 16.00 senior. Trip was worth the price. Also they offer both open cars and closed.

6  Thank travel4CEU
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2013 via mobile

Nice, approx 8 mile, train ride that takes you from Stearns, Kentucky to Blue Hernon, Kentucky. Beautiful scenery. Cost $18, the train stops in Blue Her non for a little over an hour, they sell snacks there if your hungry. You have time to take pictures along the Cumberland River.

2  Thank BamBam0001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 25, 2013

this was a nice little ride and experience just be sure to sit on the left side of the train so that u can see the water . there wasnt much on the other side to see.

2  Thank misaj81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 12, 2013

We took this train on mothers day...all mothers got a free rose. Very interesting ride. The cars are quite old which added to the effect. The train goes 600 feet down into an old coal mine. Very informative along the ride. Nice museum to visit also.

1  Thank Wayne G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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