The Rock Domain is a new rock climbing, hiking, and camping area at the Cathedral Domain in Lee County. The Rock Domain boasts over 180 professionally bolted climbing routes raging from novice to world class. A central parking and information area with access to trail heads means easy access to the climbing and hiking areas. The Rock Domain is located on Highway 1746, Irvine Kentucky. Turn off Highway 52 at the Cathedral Domain sign, drive up the hill, and follow the signs to the parking area. For more information visit www.cathedraldomain.org, or call (606) 464-8258.
Free download of informational listing of all climbing routes and map of The Rock Domain!
Check out this list of upcoming events for Beattyville/Lee County!
Shop Small Beattyville/Lee County:
Visit participating local businesses between Small Business Saturday Nov 25th and Christmas Spirit on December 9th for a chance to win cash. Three winners will be drawn on December 9th during the Christmas Spirit Program at 5:30pm from the Lee County Courthouse steps. Be sure to show your support to local businesses by shopping locally this Christmas.
Festival of Frosty:
Businesses are encouraged to decorate their storefront in the theme "Festival of Frosty"! Everyone loves snowmen and this theme allows the display to be up all winter long!
Christmas Spirit 2017
Saturday December 9th from 10am-5pm:
There will be vendor space avaliable at the Art Factory Coffeehouse, Don Begley Auto Sales showroom and the Three Forks Historical Center. Be sure to stop and register for the Shop Small Drawings at these locations!
10am-5pm: At the Three Forks Historical Center there will be a Kid's Santa Workshop where children can write a letter to Santa, decorate christmas cookies, do a craft, listen to stroytelling, and have photos made with Santa & Mrs. Clause!
5pm-The Christmas Spirit Parade: Any organization who would like to participate in the parade this year please call (606) 464-5007 or (606) 464-5038 and let us know. All participants will meet at the CSX Railyard to line up for the parade at 5:00pm. The finish of the parade will be at the Lee County Courthouse.
Christmas Spirit Program 5:30pm: The Kiwanis will be doing their treat give-a-way and children can also have their photo with Santa and Mrs. Clause! The program consist of the Christmas Tree lighting, Shop Small Drawings, and children will perform a few scenes from the play "Ghost of Christmas Past". Nonprofit organizations and churches are welcome to set up around the courthouse block to give away hot chocolate, direct Christmas sing-a-longs and help spread Christmas Cheer! Contact DBA at (606) 464-5007 or Tourism (606) 464-5038.
Check out the Facebook event page for Christmas Spirit & Shop Local events!
News articles about Small Business Saturday and why shopping local makes a difference!
US Small Business Administration
On Saturday, November 4, 2017. 115 racers were loaded into Youth Haven Bible Camp busses and transported from the Natural Bridge State Resort Park to the St. Helens Park near Beattyville to begin their 12 hour adventure race of paddling, running, and mountain biking. Adventure racing is different than marathons like the Rugged Red or obstacle course racing like Tough Mudders. Adventure racing is all about having good strategy and map skills to locate as many checkpoints along the course as possible. The winning team is whoever hits the most checkpoints within the 12 hour time limit.
The first leg of the race started at 7am by running from the St. Helens park to the Sharp Rock Boat Ramp off HWY 52 in Beattyville. From here, racers launched their canoes and kayaks into the North Fork of the Kentucky River and paddled along the North, Middle, and South Fork Rivers to find checkpoints. Racers were faced with a big decision early on as they had to decide if two upstream paddle points were worth the time and effort to collect the two checkpoints. Once completed, the racers exited the river behind Jack’s IGA at the Three Forks Canoe/Kayak Launch. Once their team number was registered at the station, they were given a map of downtown Beattyville to start their running section of the race. The running “Urban Challenge” consisted of plotted locations on the Beattyville map where racers had to go and find answers to questions on the map. The Beattyville Urban Challenge took racer to the Art Factory Coffeehouse, the St. Thomas Episcopal Church, the Lee County Memorial Park, and the Three Forks Historical Center.
At the Art Factory Coffeehouse, racers were given hot beverage as they searched the room to answer their checkpoint map question. “They are not use to being given coffee and hot chocolate during a race” said Shawn Lemaster of 361 Adventures. “It is awesome for them to get something hot to drink after being wet and cold from being in the river at daybreak this morning.”
At the St. Thomas Episcopal Church, racers had to find the church cornerstone and write down the year the church was built. This location was tricky because the date the congregation was formed was different than the date the church was built. After stopping in the yard to view the sign, racers then climbed up the stairs and searched around the base of the church then finally made their way to the front porch to find the date on the cornerstone.
“Good thing we came up to the door and found the date in the stone 1896.” said Mathieu, a racer from France. “If we just put the date on the sign in the yard then it would have been incorrect.” He and his team partner from Catalonia said that they did not get the race point if the answer is incorrect.
John Macintosh had the door open and greeted racers from the front porch of the Three Forks Historical Center. Racers went in the museum and explored the area before finding what they needed in order to continue. “We had a lot of people come by and everyone was so friendly and had smiles on their faces.”
After hitting the river checkpoints and Beattyville checkpoints, the racers ran up the hill to Happy Top Community Center where they had staged their mountain bikes the previous night. Once the racers turned in their answers, they could fill up their water bottles and grab their mountain bikes for the trek back to Natural Bridge State Resort Park.
Bikers flew down the road from Happy Top and turned onto White Ash Road toward HWY 399. Many racers stopped at the Conveniently Country Store in Yellow Rock before continuing on their way. They then turned north toward Beartrack and into the Bald Rock Area. From there they hit several more plotted points along the way and had the option to come up to HWY 11 then drop over to the east to the Miller Fork Recreational Area along Hell Creek Road and north into the Walker’s Creek area before they came out at Land of Arches Campground on HWY 715. Finally they made their way to the finish back at Natural Bridge State Resort Park where they celebrated with great food, awards, and rehashed the good and bad decisions of the day.
The winning team, No Complaints, consisted of Doug Ritzert, Jim Benton, and Eric Olsen who strategized correctly and skipped the two upstream paddle points early on in the race, but collected all the other points for the victory. This team was one of the favorites to win going in as all the teammates had recently raced the 6 day Adventure Racing World Championship which crossed a 400 mile course from Jackson Hole to Casper Wyoming.
This event was directed by 361 Adventures, a local company owned by two brothers from eastern Kentucky. This is their fifth year of putting on events ranging from short kid-friendly races to four day expedition races. If it sounds like fun, it is, and you can check out the FIG and several other events they have coming up next year at 361adventures.com.
There was foot stomping fun on Saturday evening at the second Locally Made Artisan Market at the Woolly Worm Park in downtown Beattyville. Everyone had a great time at the event and enjoyed the artisan booths, live local entertainment and line dancing.
The Artisan Market showcased locally made products and handcrafted talents of local artisans in the community. Every item on display was created with imagination and exceptional skill. Brad Holman, owner of Rocky Woodland Forge, displayed hand-forged tools and metalworking art pieces. He also showed his metal chair artwork which received first place in its category at the Kentucky State Fair last month in Louisville, KY. Julie Holman, owner of Cleft in the Rock Artwork, was also set up at the event with her beautiful charcoal drawn artworks. Recently, her drawing called “Legacy” received Best in Show at the Lee County Extension Office’s Farm and Home Show. This charcoal drawing is of a log cabin located in Old Landing. Julie also had a drawing called “First Glance” which is of a barn that was built by Clarence White who was a great, great, great grandson of Daniel Boone. Judy Spicer of Beattyville, set up a beautiful display of her photography. There were breathtaking images of barns, florals, birds, and landscapes to browse through. Shouse House Gourds by Leighandra Shouse was also at the event. Shouse displayed hand painted gourds for all seasons, reasons, and whimsies! Ronnie Paul and Joyce Begley set up with their pallet crafts for home and garden decor. Pallets are very popular and the Begley’s created one of a kind pieces out of pallets such as sign boards, keyring boards, snowmen and more. They also had tobacco stick walking sticks and a very unique packet of wooden shapes for crafting a pumpkin into a turkey display. Frolic in the Forest showcased forest inspired jewelry created by Heather Watson. Heather created one of a kind jewelry such as feather earrings, sea opal necklaces, mermaid inspired charms, and hand pained KY and Lee County shape neckless pieces. Madeline Sawyer set up with handmade wreaths and woodworking times such as spoons and bowls. Rosemary Spicer also displayed hand carved wooden spoons and bowls along with small painted gourd table spinners. Go online and follow these amazing artisans on their websites, Etsy listings, and Facebook Pages.
The Artisan Market also showcased local musicians and talented singers. The singing duo “Jenna & Erin” started the event at 4pm. Jenna is the daughter of Virgil and Janet Dunaway. Erin is the daughter of Audrey McKinney and John Macintosh. Both Jenna & Erin are Lee County High School Freshmen. The duo recently won the Daniel Boone Pioneer Festival talent show in Winchester, KY. Mike Stallings played guitar for the crowd. Stallings is a proud Estill Countian, veteran, prior firefighter, and chain saw carver. He hitchhiked into the area in 1998 with a backpack, guitar, and a dog. He fell in love with bluegrass after hearing a few local musicians and since then has been on a journey to learn every instrument. Stallings can play guitar, mandolin, bass, notice american flute, harmonica and many hand percussion instruments. The Hilltop Pickers were next on stage and played bluegrass tunes such as Blue Moon of Kentucky, Long Journey Home, and In the Pines. The group members are all from Beattyville Baptist Church and enjoy playing bluegrass and gospel bluegrass music. After the Pickers, 25 year old, Shelby Davis took the stage and blew everyone away with her amazing voice by singing songs by Martina McBride, Adele, and more. Davis was a regular entertainer at Renfro Valley and recently auditioned for American Idol. The final entertainment of the evening was the Footloose Cloggers who are a group of ladies from Lee and Estill County that love to clog. Current members are Rebecca Click, Sherrell Hill, Lisa Alcorn, Phyllis Dawson, Brenda Smith, Jennifer Lane and Amy Hughes. The Footloose Cloggers kicked off the dancing part of the event as the DJ, Chris Noe, played some line dancing songs such as Grapevine, ChaCha Slide, the Macarena, Cotton Eyed Joe, and Thriller.
The Locally Made Artisan Market & Street Dance was sponsored by the Downtown Beattyville Alliance, The Beattyville/Lee County Tourism Commission, the City of Beattyville and the Lee County Fiscal Court. Special thanks to all the vendors and musicians who participated in the event. Follow the DBA and Tourism Facebook pages for upcoming events and announcements.
On behalf of National Historic Preservation month in May 2017, the Downtown Beattyville Alliance and the Beattyville/Lee County Tourism Commission partnered together to create and publish a video highlighting some historic buildings and businesses in Beattyville, KY. The video was liked, shared, and viewed so many times that it was picked up by regional media outlets who showed clips of the video on evening news. The two organizations knew they wanted to do more videos and so after working on more filming and editing, we released the second "This Place Matters Part 2" video today which highlights buildings, businesses, and organizations. View the two videos below and enjoy. We hope you will visit our small town this summer and definitely plan a trip this fall!
If you want to view the video and article by WYMT check out the link. www.wymt.com/content/news/This-Place-Matters-Small-Eastern-Kentucky-town-sends-message-427547383.html
Each year, the community comes together to celebrate Independence Day on Happy Top Park in Beattyville, KY. This year the 4th falls on a Tuesday which shuffles around celebrations schedules for some communities but Beattyville always has the fireworks on the night of 4th of July no matter what day of the week it falls on. The firework show is extravagant and last 40 to 45 minutes while the DJ blast patriotic music to coincide with the lights and booms. There are also many family fun activities to do before dark on Happy Top Park. The Lee County Fiscal Court sponsors inflatables for children to play on, the Downtown Beattyville Alliance invites classic cars to park in the safety of the baseball field on display, and the Three Forks Historical Center handles the concessions. Happy Top Park has a softball field, baseball field, basketball court, skate park, walking trail, splash park, and a lot of flat land for frisbee, volleyball, or water balloon fun!
The 4th of July is also an opportunity to hit our 50 mile long yard sale that travels though Madison, Estill, Lee, and Breathitt Counties. Just cruise along HWY 52 on Friday, June 30th and Saturday, July 1st to pick though yard sale after yard sale. You will never know what your going to find! Hot spot areas in Lee County are in the Bear Track Park, Downtown District, St. Helens, and the Kincaid Farm near the Breathitt County line.
Be sure to come to downtown Beattyville on Friday night, June 30th to catch the Downtown Beattyville Alliance's Classic Car Cruise-in. They occur the last Friday night of each month May-September. The theme at this upcoming event is "Remember When in the 1970s" so dig in your closet for your bell bottoms and join in on the costume contest.
So, if you are visiting the Red River Gorge for the week or want to get out of the big city away from the crowd then drive down to Beattyville and join us for our small town Independence Day Celebrations!
On Thursday, June 8, 2017 the Beattyville/Lee County Tourism commission voted to enter into a lease agreement with Jack and Fonda Gross for one acre of river front property located on River Drive behind the IGA and the Lee County Health Center in Beattyville, KY. The property will be use as public access for launching canoes and kayaks.
The tourism commission plans to install an informational kiosk with river trail maps and local information. The kiosks were built by the students of the Lee County Area Technology Center. There are also plans for additional development for a kayak ramp into the river, parking lot, picnic area, and slack line park, which is fun for rock climbers. Maps of river trails along Three Forks area of Beattyville area available online at visitleeountyky.com/fishingcanoing.
Next to the public launch is a larger piece of property where Mr. Gross is developing an RV Park and campground. The park offers riverfront views long with boating and fishing opportunities for campers. There are also improved RV spots with electric, water, and sewer hookups. More information will be available online soon at www.beattyvillervpark.com.
On Saturday, June 10, 2017 a group of volunteers gathered at the new Three Forks Canoe/Kayak Launch for a community paddle and picked up trash along the Kentucky River. This was the first of several paddle events scheduled this summer by the tourism commission, who received a Brushy Fork Flex E Grant in April for KY River Development and Beautification.
The river had just cleared up from recent rains and the event was from 10am-12pm in an attempt to avoid the afternoon heat. The group launched canoes from a temporary dock made from pallets that was installed along the bank.
“There is something swimming in the water!” said 9 year old Dylan Mainous. He pointed to a creature with a rat-like tale swimming across the river then up Crystal Creek toward Main Street. The group decided that it must have been river muskrat. Dylan and his dad Tyler said they had a fun time as they paddled up South Fork to the bridge then turned around and paddled up North Fork to the bridge then back down to the Three Forks Canoe/Kayak Launch.
Water and snacks were provided by the Lee County Diabetes Coalition, who will be partnering on all the paddle events scheduled this summer.
“This is my first time on the river and in a canoe,” said Vivian Smith, Lee County Health Center Coordinator and member of the Lee County Diabetes Coalition. “This great exercise and it is peaceful being on the water.”
T-shirts and trash bags were provided by the Kentucky River Authority. The clean up events are a part of a larger state wide initiative to clean up the river and advocate for water recreational activities. Sue Elliston along with Jack Stickney and his family were in attendance representing the KRA.
“I just love coming to Beattyville and this property is a great location for paddlers to use,” said Sue Elliston.
Canoes will be available for the community to use on future events scheduled for Saturday, July 8th and on August 12th. Call (606) 464-5038 to reserve your canoe. Locals who own personal kayaks or canoes are invited to participate in the events. Anyone interested in starting a Beattyville Paddle Club, contact the tourism office or message tourism on Facebook. wwwfacebook.com/beattyvilleleecountytoursim.
The Downtown Beattyville Alliance and its members will be hosting era themed "Remember When" Classic Car Cruise-In events on Main Street in Beattyville once a month May-September. The first one is 1960s themed and it will occur this Friday night, May 26th starting at 7:00pm. The events are free registration, live music, and good family fun. Check out the flyer for more details.
In April 2017, the Beattyville/Lee County Tourism Commission received a $3,500 ARC Flex-E Grant for a Kentucky River Trailhead Development and Stewardship Project. With over 30 miles of river in Lee County, there are a few public access points for motorized boats and paddlers to launch from and these access points need improved. Further development in the form of informational signage and beautification will greatly increase the quality of experience for local and tourist river adventurers.
The first part of the grant was to purchase materials for the construction three signage trailhead kiosks. In May, these kiosk were constructed by the students at the Lee County Area Technology Center. The next step is to get the community together to help install the kiosks in the parking areas of three public launch sites along the Kentucky River near Beattyville. Maps of the river trails, emergency contact numbers, local event flyers, historical information about the river and photos will be included on the kiosks.
A second part of this grant is for the tourism commission to host three river clean up events and family canoe/kayak paddle trips this summer. Trash bags, and t-shirts, water and sacks will be available at each event. The grant covers the cost of canoe rentals, so there will be 10 canoes available for public use at each event. All participants must sign a waver and fill out a volunteer time sheet. Volunteers who own their own kayaks and canoes are encouraged to bring their rafts and join in on the clean ups and paddle trips!
The first installation and river clean up day will be Friday, June 9th, 2017 at 5:00pm from the new Three Forks Canoe/Kayak Launch site located on River Drive in Beattyville behind Jack’s IGA. This beautiful river front property is owned by Mr. Jack Gross and leased to the Beattyville/Lee County Tourism Commission for the purpose of creating a public access location for canoe and kayak launching. The next day, Saturday, June 10th at 10:00am the public is invited back to this location for the first Family Paddle Trip event.
The second installation and river clean up day will be Friday, July 7th, 2017 at 5:00pm from the Beattyville Boat Ramp located on Water Street in Beattyville off East Main Street near the Lee County Care and Rehab Center. The following day, Saturday, July 8th is the second Family Paddle Trip starting at 10:00am from the Beattyville Boat Ramp.
The third installation and river clean up day will be Friday, August 11th, 2017 at 5:00pm from the Sharp Rock Boat Ramp located three miles upstream of Beattyville off HWY 52 E toward Jackson, KY. The following day, Saturday, August 12th will be the final Family Paddle Trip of the summer starting at 10:00am from the Sharp Rock Boat Ramp.
Please contact the Tourism Office at (606) 464-5038 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in being a community partner/volunteer for this grant cycle May-September 2017. If you do not have a canoe or kayak and wish to reserve a canoe for any of these event dates, please call the office to make this reservation. Partnering agencies include the KY River Authority, the Lee County Diabetes Coalition, People Encouraging People, Lee County Area Technology Center, and the Lee County HOSA Club. Follow the Beattyville/Lee County Tourism Facebook page for more detailed event information as the event date gets closer!