Knott County Mine Made Adventure Park - Trail Guide

Trails

In a nutshell the park has two basic areas... at least from what I can tell? The largest section I loosely base around the location of the Trail Ride. This is where they set up the concessions, booths, campers, and concerts for the big weekend. It's a haul to get back there but it's a wide road that you can tow any sized trailer you want to. I consider this more of the backcountry trails. There's creeks to ride, roads to cross, repurposed train bridges, culverts, overlooks... You name it, it's all here. You can even ride over to Southfork Elk View in Breathitt County which I've heard is a pretty spectacular ride. They sell maps for $2 at the campground office but they were closed on Sunday. Maybe that would have solved all of my problems...

On Saturday we rode the Trail Ride area of the park. The mapped trails shown on the map provided on Facebook are all doubletrack and wide enough for a SxS. This place is ROCKY. Do not mount a fresh set of knobbies and come here, you will lose a lot of them. This area is pretty much wide open so if you're on a dirt bike you can get in a groove and flow for miles and miles. Don't get discouraged (like we did at first) that the trails aren't purpose-built Instagram-able motorcycle bliss, you can find that here but it's in other areas of the park. However, you can get discouraged by how difficult it is to navigate the trails, I know I was.

What I find really cool about Mine Made is the freedom you've got to explore. If you pay close attention you'll find flags and banners of places that have been marked out by organizers and riders that really aren't trails. They're just areas, mostly hillsides, free to find your own way to the top. Spot an open route, grab a handful and go for it. 

After floundering around for a few hours we went on an afternoon exploratory ride. Across KY-1098 we stumbled upon a few motorcycle-only loops that were a real surprise. (I assume these allow horses as well, the signs just crossed out ATVs.) These trails weren't on either of the maps I had at my disposal but were designated by signs. There was single-and-doubletrack loops that were obviously not ridden very often, but marked and cleared. This was by far the best section of trail we found all day. In the map above, you can see the dark outline of 1098 bisecting my tracks, these loops are on the east side of that bisection. 

I have to admit, even riding here as little as I have, I expected to be able to loosely navigate us around this place. Between the map not being complete and the overall lack of trail markers, I was probably the worst navigator of the group. Once you get down in the holler it's a maze. Knowing there are trails (intended and not) that go Lord knows how far into other counties, it would be easy to get a bit lost. I'm not talking Bear Grylls-in-the-backcountry lost, with a little common sense and some road riding you can find your way back to the park entrance pretty easy. I just hope that if you're a dirt biker you have somebody with a headlight. If you have access to a GPS tracker I definitely recommend using it here. 

For the younger crowd, the trails on the Campground and ATV Safety Training Center side may be more of your style. This area contains a lot of the singletrack and where they held an XC race. I'm not sure if there's a standard for rating trails but the Black trails are nothing more than drainage ditches the mining company put in, full of boulders and not much else. Stuff that would make Carl's Diner look like a gravel driveway. I'm sure some of the black trails aren't boulder gardens but from what I could tell at least most of them were. Pretty rad if you ask me. 

I had a blast on the Blue trails. Even these are quite technical in places. You can wind around the ridge and take in broad views of the mountaintops or point down the mountain and zig-zag along gas pipelines. Grab a handful and braap straight up the benches back to the flats above. You're free to be creative and make the park whatever you want it to be, and to me that's the best part.

Dirt bike, 4wheeler, or SxS; Beginner, expert, or seasoned vet, there's literally something for everyone at Mine Made.