We stopped in Pineville, Ky to visit Chained Rock, which is part of Pine Mountain State Resort Park. The story of the chain on the rock, from what I have read, dates back to the early days of the town. Supposedly, kids and people passing through always asked about the rock, and if it could ever fall on the town, flattening everything in its path. The residents always said there was a chain up there to hold the rock in place, when there really wasn’t. In reality, there was never any need for the chain, because the rock is just part of the mountain. Eventually, people were tired of lying about the chain, and decided just to finally place one up there.
There is a road that takes you to the top of the mountain, and a small parking lot just a few yards away from the overlook.
Unfortunately, you cannot see the chain and rock from this overlook. There is a trail that is 1/2 mile one way and it takes you directly to the rock.
It was a nice learning experience for my girls, most kids love being outside anyways, so why not take that opportunity to learn about nature? They loved picking up rocks and exploring different textures, like sand and moss. Of course, they mostly loved getting dirty!
The sign reads,
“Chained Rock is a boulder formation of Pine Mountain, 2,200 feet above sea level.
The Chain, 101 feet long with seven pound links, was carried here by a four-mule team in two trips. It is anchored to the rock with pegs 1 1/2 x 24 inches concreted into holes, star drilled by hand.
In 1933, the Pineville Chain Rock Club, assisted by the Boy Scouts and the Civilian Conservation Corps, replaced an old chain with this chain to hold the rock which, by tradition, is to protect the city of Pineville, Kentucky.”
The trail is pretty easy-going to the rock, but the way back is mainly uphill, and definitely a workout for those out of shape!
Thankfully there are benches along the way to stop and rest, and we probably used over half of them!
While we took our girls to the rock, we kept a very close eye, and held hands.
*While the main overlook is like any other overlook, with railings and stuff, you can’t actually see the chain from there. So the trail leading to the rock itself is not somewhere I would recommend to someone with small children. There are no railings, nothing to keep you from going off the mountain except your own common sense. And watch out for black bears!!