We took the Big South Fork Scenic Railroad train ride today and it was great. The train station is located at Stearns, Kentucky. This is in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation area of the Daniel Boone National Park. If you are in this area, take the train. Tickets are $25 each and well worth the price. We had a very good lunch at the train station before the train departed. The McCreary County Museum is across the street and free with the train ticket purchase. This Daniel Boone Forest and Big South Fork are in both Kentucky and Tennessee and almost better than the Smokey Mountains. Lots of things to see and do.
The train ride is about 40 minutes each way. It stops for 90 minutes at the Blue Herron Coal Mine with plenty to see while you are there. The National Park Service operates the mine area complete with park rangers.
|Train Station Entrance
|Museum with Moonshine Still
|Old Gasoline Pump
|Museum display of many items from early 1900's
|A steam whistle from one of the mines.
|They use a diesel engine now with plans for a future steam engine.
|The train passes the Barthell Coal mine.
You can rent miner's cabins for overnight stays
|Barthell Coal mine "company store"
|More Barthell mine buildings.
|Of course there is a tunnel.
|The Blue Herron was the second coal mine in the valley.
|Blue Herron Station, National Park Service.
The train can be seen near the upper left.
|The "tipple" had railroad track across the valley to carry coal from the mine to the train cars under the tipple. We walked the entire length.
The mines were in the hillside at the far end of the tipple.
|A coal car that traveled across the tipple.
|The train cars are below and filled by gravity after being sorted by size.
|Coal cars where they load up
|The Big South Fork River from the top of the tipple.
|Under the tipple
|How it looked when in use and how it looks today.
|Heading back to Stearns Station.
Our next stop is Winton Woods in Cincinnati Ohio.