A Weekend Away from it All

Cave Run Lake is ideal for boating and fishing.

Those looking for a weekend getaway can find relaxation and more in Morehead, Kentucky

By Corinne Minard

For many of us who now work from home, the lines between work life and home life have blurred. It can be hard to disconnect from your job when you’re just steps away from your office. Because of this, weekend getaways to nearby places are more important than ever.

One such location is Morehead, Kentucky, which is just 2 hours south of Cincinnati. Those wishing to spend some quality time with family in nature will find just that in this Kentucky city.

“Morehead, Kentucky, is a unique location as we are in the heart of the Daniel Boone National Forest. Every window and door you look from has a picturesque view of trees, hills, sunsets and sunrises that are as memorable as the experience you have or are going to have,” says Joy Brown, executive director of Morehead-Rowan County Tourism.

Morehead’s location makes it an ideal travel destination for those who enjoy outdoor recreation. “Morehead, Kentucky, is the only town in Kentucky that the Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail travels down Main Street for hikers, bikers or even the casual walker to enjoy,” says Brown. The Sheltowee Trace is a 319-mile trail that spans the Daniel Boone National Forest and Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. While the trail traverses land in both Kentucky and Tennessee, the section that goes through Morehead enables travelers to get from town to nature in just a couple steps.

Other trail opportunities include the 2.5-mile Twin Knobs Shoreline Trail and the 1.5-mile Knob Overlook Trail, both of which offer views of Cave Run Lake. Cyclists can enjoy Lakeview Ridge Trail, which provides ridgetop views in under 4 miles, or Eagle Lake Trail, which takes riders to the pristine 30-acre Eagle Lake.

Just off Sheltowee Trace, other outdoor recreation opportunities are also ready to be explored. Cave Run Lake, an 8,270-acre lake in the Daniel Boone National Forest, is open for fishing and boating. The state’s largest muskie, weighing almost 50 pounds, was caught in the lake, but it’s also home to trout, catfish, bass and walleye. The lake also has 12 boat ramps and nearly 400 campsites.

Cave Run Lake is an 8,720-acre lake in Daniel Boone National Forest.

Another place to fish is Triplett Creek. The creek passes through town and can be accessed at Don Greenhill City Park. Fisherman will find carp, smallmouth bass, rainbow trout and more there.

If the kids need to cool down after all this adventuring, the Sheltowee Falls Splash Pad is right next to Triplett Creek. Opened in 2019, the splash pad is wilderness themed and features a treehouse, two water slides and 40 additional water features.

Camping is also big in Morehead. The region’s most famous campground is the Twin Knobs Campground that’s located on the bank of Cave Run Lake. “Twin Knobs features campsites for all types of camping, a beach, group use areas, amphitheater, country store, trails everywhere and two convenient boat docks. We also have seven other campgrounds that are sure to entice the off-lake camper looking for a unique experience,” says Brown. Other lodging options include cabins, unique homesteads, apartments close to town, historic boarding rooms and an inn.

While outdoor recreation may be what draws visitors to Morehead, there are lots of other things to do, too. “Unique boutiques and locally owned and Kentucky Proud sourced shops are here to enjoy. Music venues are open nightly featuring local, regional and often national artists. A brewery on the corner has an entertainment space just outside. And there are beautiful art galleries include an ever-changing Rowan Art Walk complete with a voice-guided tour using scannable QR codes,” says Brown.

In addition to outdoor recreation, Morehead, Kentucky, is full of opportunities to enjoy the arts.

The dining scene is also diverse. In addition to the American classics offered at Root-A-Bakers Bakery & Café and Pop’s Southern Style BBQ, diners can enjoy Chinese, Mexican and Japanese cuisine at restaurants found throughout the city .

Before you leave Morehead to head back to real life, Brown recommends a visit to the Minor E. Clark Fish Hatchery.

“Our hatchery is one of the largest warm-water fish hatcheries in the nation. The hatchery produces nearly 4 million fingerlings annually that are released into Kentucky lakes, rivers and streams. [People should visit for] the outdoor viewing tanks, tours, bird watching and the opportunity to see the elusive musky that makes us the Musky Capital of the South.”

Upcoming Events in Morehead, KY

Morehead, Kentucky, stays busy all summer long with a variety of events.

– Morehead Maker’s Market, First Saturday each month through October at the Rowan County Arts Center. Locally produced food and arts and crafts. rowancountyartscenter.com

– Rudy Fest, June 18-15 at Poppy Mountain. Bluegrass music festival. rudyfest.com

– Dirt Nasty Off-Road Park Hill Climb Drag Races, June 25 at Dirt Nasty Off-Road Park. Off-roading races in a specialty-built park. dirtnastyoffroad.com

– Fazoli’s Freedom Fest, July 1-2 in downtown Morehead. Fourth of July celebration.

– Morehead Theatre Guild Presents: The Sugar Bean Sisters, July 8-10 and 15-17 at the Rowan County Arts Center. Southern Gothic comedy performed by a local theater group. moreheadtheatre.org

For more information on events in the area visit visitmorehead.com.