Dawkins Line Rail Trail

Trail Map

Description Suggest an Edit

In eastern Kentucky, 18 miles of the planned 36-mile Dawkins Line Rail Trail are open for use. Although only half-finished, the trail has already become the state's longest rail-trail.

Most recently a coal-hauling line owned by the R.J. Corman Equipment Company, the railroad corridor was originally constructed in the early 1900s by the Dawkins Lumber Company—hence the trail's name—to transport timber. The trail crosses eastern Kentucky's striking Appalachian region, home to the highest biodiversity in North America.

The rail-trail passes historical coal structures, traverses 24 scenic trestles and the Gun Creek Tunnel, which spans nearly 700 feet. It is also the site of a national forest and state park. Among the most unique features of this area, in fact, is the elk viewing.

The trail's first phase from Hagerhill to Royalton in rural Johnson and Magoffin Counties opened in June 2013. The rail-trail will accommodate hikers, horseback riders and cyclists and serve as an adventure tourism attraction.

The second half of the trail, anticipated to be completed and opened to the public in November 2015, will extend it farther west into Breathitt County. The extension will include access to the 1,556-foot Tip Top Tunnel and amenities for equestrians such as water fountains for both people and horses, hitching posts, mounting blocks, and corrals near Hager Hill and Royalton.

Parking and Trail Access

The Dawkins Line Rail Trail is most easily accessed off State Route 825 approximately one mile west of Mill Creek Road in rural Johnson County.


pleasantly surprised

   May, 2016 by shep053

just recently rode from royalton to mile 3 in johnson co. the trail is in great shape all the rain has it really smooth dissapointing to see so few riders taking advantage of this trail. really a great place to ride read more

Update of my previous review

   April, 2016 by cwburke

We have taken portions of this trail on numerous occasions since it first opened. The trail has grown in length on the SW end. Although I don't think the new section it is officially open, you can ride it. Unfortunately the trail is not maintained ...read more

great trail

   August, 2015 by trexcycles

Great trail i ride it regularly.I have ridden other trails and this is one of the best.After reading other reviews,I see that people have bad reviews.We need to understand this is not a blacktop trail it,s going to have bumps,gravels. snakes mud etc. ...read more