Blue Ridge Outdoors Top Towns Nominee: Elkhorn City, Kentucky

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Elkhorn City is nestled in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky near the state’s border with neighboring Virginia. More town than city, Elkhorn has become an unassuming go-to spot for all kinds of outdoor adventurists.

Local historians claim that this small Appalachian town came into existence shortly after the legendary American explorer Daniel Boone took his first steps into what is now present day Kentucky. Today visitors and residents can enjoy the great outdoors surrounding Elkhorn City by visiting nearby Pine Mountain or the Cumberland Gap State Historic Park. The area also offers access to the Russell Fork, where top-notch whitewater abounds, and it’s not far from a dual state park—mutually managed by the commonwealths of Kentucky and Virginia—called Breaks Interstate Park.

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Did you know? Every October the Russell Fork becomes the site of very unique, non-profit race called The Russell Fork BADDLUN. The name comes from blending the words bike, paddle, and run, and the race features a 13-mile bike ride, an 8-mile paddle, a 3-mile run, and 20-yard swim. According to the race website, there are four very simple prerequisites for would be participants; don’t die, don’t be weak, help others in need, and have a good time.

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