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Big South Fork Scenic Railway

Located 25 miles, or an easy 30 minute drive from the cabin, Stearns, Kentucky is home to a heritage railway preserved to bring a piece of the past to the present. Experience the beauty of the Appalachian region from the window of a vintage train on board the Big South Fork Scenic Railway.

The History of Big South Fork Railway

In 1902, Justus S. Stearns purchased 30,000 acres of untouched timberland in southern Kentucky. Coal was then discovered in the area shortly afterward and the Stearns Coal and Lumber Company was founded. The town of Stearns was created and acted as the hub for the booming mining and lumber business. Economic prosperity came with the era of coal, but like other mining towns, businesses eventually closed their doors and the population dwindled as coal demand decreased. 


It wasn’t until the 1980s, when the final mines had been closed and passenger service on the railway had long since ceased, that the importance of preserving a simpler time became recognized. Today, a non-profit organization, the McCreary County Heritage Foundation, Inc., serves to preserve and protect the historic value alongside the Big South Fork Scenic Railway, and one of the few towns in America still surrounded by its coal, lumber, and railroad roots.

Locomotive Logistics 

Big South Fork Scenic Railway takes you along a historic track, through a lush forest and over mountain streams. This beauty paired with a narration including the area’s history will be sure to keep you entertained.

  • 1.5 hour non-stop trip

  • 10 miles round-trip

  • Family-friendly atmosphere

  • Handicap accessible

  • Leased pets allowed (regular trips only)

  • Small, lunch-sized coolers are welcome (regular trips only)

  • Coal Miners Lunch-handmade half ham half turkey sandwich, chips, a moon pie, and a drink of your choice-available for pre-purchase for $14

  • Restrooms on trains

  • Visa and Mastercard accepted

When, Where, How Much?

Here’s some information to help you plan your trip to Big South Fork Scenic Railway.


  • Adult (Ages 13-59) - $26.00

  • Child (Ages 3-12) - $18.00

  • Seniors (Ages 60+) - $23.00

  • Military with ID - FREE

  • Military Family Members - $18.00

  • Buy tickets here

Standard Schedule

  • April: Thursday through Sunday

  • May to October 13th: Wednesday through Sunday

  • October 15th to November 3rd: Tuesday through Sunday

  • Times: Weekdays: 11am, Saturday: 11am & 2:30pm, Sunday: 2pm

Directions from Cabin

  • Head southeast on Lakeview Ave

  • Continue onto Shell Cave Rd

  • Turn left onto Garland Rd

  • Turn right onto US Hwy 27 S

  • Turn right onto KY-92 W

  • Turn right onto State Hwy 1651

  • Arrive at 66 Henderson St. Stearns, KY 42647

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