October is Busy Month for McCreary Tourism
By Eugenia Jones
With Heritage Trail Days set for this coming weekend and additional events scheduled throughout, the month of October promises to be a busy month for tourism in McCreary County. In addition to the ticketed events at the Barthell Coal Camp and the Big South Fork Scenic Railway, this year’s Heritage Trail Days celebration kicks off with the McCreary County Public Library’s “Artisan Night at the Library” tonight (Thursday-Oct. 5) at the library from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. The event features local crafters, authors, photographers, and storytellers sharing their talents.
Hikers will have plenty of opportunities to stretch their legs during Heritage Trail Days as the McCreary County Hikers Club will host hikes to Three Forks of Beaver at 4:30 on Friday, Oct. 6 and to Buffalo Canyon/Natural Arch at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7. Hikers will meet at the McCreary County Extension Office. The BSFNRRA will host a ranger led hike to Dick Gap Overlook at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 8 from Blue Heron.
Coinciding with Heritage Trail Days on Friday night from 6:00-10:00 p.m., the Big South Fork Veteran Hunt Cruise will integrate with the festival by providing live music, classic vehicles, street dancing, and food.
This year’s new tradition, the first annual Fair Fest, gives vendors an opportunity to set up at the McCreary County Fair Grounds (McCreary County Park) on Saturday, October 7 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Yard sale, craft, business, group, and club spaces will be available for $5.00. Vendors should bring their own tables, chairs, booths, canopies, etc. There will be vendors, yard sales, horse shoes, cake walks, corn hole, silent auction, food, and more.
Sunday winds down the Heritage Trail Days event with a brunch at Kristina’s Kitchen in Whitley City.
Additional Trail Day activities throughout the weekend include live pottery demonstrations at Mehg’s Pottery and free fudge tasting at Sweet Kreations in Stearns, the Club House Golf Championship, the Uptown Opry, and Cumberland Falls moonbow viewing.
The inaugural “No Business Hundred” trail race takes place on the second weekend of October. Hosted in the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area with racers sprinting out of Stearns on October 14, the “No Business Hundred” is a 100 mile loop course with over 10,837 feet of ascent that traverses through the heart of the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area across the state line into Tennessee and back to Stearns on some of the most scenic & picturesque trails in the southeast.
October end with a special treat for children as tots will get an extra opportunity to dress up in their costumes and collect candy at the annual “Trick-or-Treat Train and Festival for Tots” in downtown Stearns. Local businesses will set up with candy for trick-or-treaters with children’s activities (including inflatables) and lively music also planned. Admission to the general public for trick-or-treating, inflatables, music, and children activities will be $3.00. Tickets for those who want to ride the train will be $20.00 for adults and $10.00 for children. Passengers will board the train at 6:15 p.m.