Paintsville Lake Kiwanis Trail In Kentucky

Here is everything you need to know about the Paintsville Lake Kiwanis Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Kentucky
  • Length: 1.54 miles.
  • Type: Hiking.
  • Surface: gravel
  • Managed By: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • Permit Required?: No
  • Website:

The Paintsville Lake Kiwanis Trail holds a significant historical background that dates back several decades. The trail is located in Paintsville, Kentucky, and was established in the early 1970s. It was initially developed as a joint effort between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the local Kiwanis Club, with the aim of providing a recreational space for the community.

The trail’s construction began in 1972 and was completed in 1974. It covers a distance of approximately 3.5 miles and winds through the picturesque landscape surrounding Paintsville Lake. The trail was designed to offer a serene and scenic environment for outdoor enthusiasts, hikers, and nature lovers.

Throughout its history, the Paintsville Lake Kiwanis Trail has undergone several improvements and expansions. In the early years, it consisted of a simple dirt path, but over time, it was paved and enhanced with bridges, benches, and informational signs. These additions aimed to make the trail more accessible and enjoyable for visitors of all ages.

The Paintsville Lake Kiwanis Trail has become an integral part of the local community, attracting both residents and tourists alike. Its historical significance lies in its role as a testament to the collaborative efforts of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Kiwanis Club, who worked together to create a recreational space that has stood the test of time. Today, the trail continues to serve as a beloved destination for outdoor activities, offering a glimpse into the rich history and natural beauty of the Paintsville area.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Paintsville Lake State Park: This is the main access point for the Paintsville Lake Kiwanis Trail. The trail starts near the park’s campground and follows the shoreline of Paintsville Lake.

2. Marina Boat Ramp: Located near the marina, this access point allows boaters and visitors to access the trail from the lake.

3. Golf Course Trailhead: This trailhead is located near the golf course at Paintsville Lake State Park. It provides easy access to the trail for golfers and other visitors.

4. Picnic Area Trailhead: This access point is located near the picnic area at Paintsville Lake State Park. It is a popular starting point for hikers and picnickers.

5. Campground Trailhead: Situated near the campground at Paintsville Lake State Park, this trailhead is convenient for campers who want to explore the trail.

6. Overlook Trailhead: This access point is located near an overlook area, offering scenic views of Paintsville Lake. It is a great starting point for those who want to enjoy the views before hiking.

7. Visitor Center Trailhead: The visitor center at Paintsville Lake State Park has a trailhead that provides easy access to the Paintsville Lake Kiwanis Trail. Visitors can learn about the park’s history and wildlife before starting their hike.

8. Dam Trailhead: This access point is located near the dam at Paintsville Lake. It offers a unique perspective of the lake and is a popular spot for fishing and birdwatching.

9. Wildlife Viewing Area Trailhead: Situated near a designated wildlife viewing area, this trailhead allows visitors to observe various bird species and other wildlife before or after their hike.

10. Horse Trailhead: Paintsville Lake Kiwanis Trail also has a designated horse trailhead, providing equestrians with access to the trail. This trailhead is equipped with facilities for horses and riders.

Transportation Available

1. Paintsville Transit – Local public transportation service in Paintsville.
2. Uber – On-demand ride-hailing service available in the area.
3. Lyft – Ride-sharing service providing transportation options in the vicinity.
4. Yellow Cab – Traditional taxi service serving the Paintsville Lake Kiwanis Trail area.
5. Paintsville Airport Shuttle – Shuttle service offering transportation to and from the nearby airport.
6. Paintsville Bike Rentals – Bike rental service for exploring the trail and surrounding areas.
7. Paintsville Car Rentals – Car rental service providing vehicles for convenient transportation.
8. Paintsville Trolley – Trolley service offering a unique way to travel around Paintsville and its attractions.


The amenities available at the Paintsville Lake Kiwanis Trail include:

1. Restrooms: There are restroom facilities available at various points along the trail for visitors’ convenience.

2. Parking: There is ample parking available at the trailhead, allowing visitors to easily access the trail.

3. Camping Sites: The trail offers designated camping sites for those who wish to spend the night in the area. These sites may have amenities such as fire pits, picnic tables, and access to water.

4. Picnic Areas: There are designated picnic areas along the trail where visitors can stop and enjoy a meal or snack. These areas may have picnic tables, benches, and trash receptacles.

5. Fishing: Paintsville Lake Kiwanis Trail is located near Paintsville Lake, which offers excellent fishing opportunities. Visitors can enjoy fishing from the shore or bring their boats to explore the lake.

6. Wildlife Viewing: The trail provides opportunities for wildlife viewing, allowing visitors to observe various species of birds, mammals, and other animals in their natural habitat.

7. Scenic Views: The trail offers beautiful scenic views of Paintsville Lake and the surrounding landscape. Visitors can enjoy the natural beauty of the area while hiking or biking along the trail.

8. Interpretive Signage: Along the trail, there may be interpretive signage that provides information about the local flora, fauna, and history of the area. This can enhance visitors’ understanding and appreciation of the surroundings.

9. Trail Markers: The trail is well-marked with signs and markers, ensuring that visitors can easily navigate their way along the designated route.

10. Benches and Rest Areas: There are benches and rest areas along the trail where visitors can take a break, relax, and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

Please note that amenities may vary, and it is always recommended to check with local authorities or trail management for the most up-to-date information.

Nearby Services

1. Paintsville Lake State Park Lodge – Lodging facility located within the state park offering comfortable accommodations.
2. Jenny Wiley State Resort Park – Nearby lodging option with a variety of amenities and outdoor activities.
3. Super 8 by Wyndham Prestonsburg – Budget-friendly lodging option with basic amenities.
4. Hampton Inn Paintsville – Hotel offering comfortable rooms and complimentary breakfast.
5. McDonald’s – Fast-food restaurant serving burgers, fries, and other classic menu items.
6. Subway – Sandwich shop offering a variety of subs and salads.
7. Pizza Hut – Popular pizza chain serving a range of pizzas, wings, and sides.
8. Paintsville Walmart Supercenter – Retail store offering groceries, household items, and more.
9. Paul B. Hall Regional Medical Center – Local hospital providing emergency medical services.
10. Paintsville Fire Department – Emergency services for fire-related incidents in the area.

Paintsville Lake Kiwanis Trail Difficulty Notes

The Paintsville Lake Kiwanis Trail offers a moderate difficulty level for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. The trail spans approximately 3.5 miles and features a variety of terrains, including wooded areas, open fields, and lake views. While the trail is well-maintained and clearly marked, there are some steep inclines and uneven surfaces that may pose a challenge for beginners or those with limited mobility. However, with proper footwear and preparation, most individuals can enjoy the trail and its scenic beauty.

Features And Attractions

The Paintsville Lake Kiwanis Trail offers a variety of scenic views, historical sites, natural landmarks, and more. Here are some notable attractions along the trail:

1. Paintsville Lake: The trail surrounds the beautiful Paintsville Lake, providing stunning views of the water and surrounding landscape.

2. Mountain Homeplace: This living history museum showcases the lifestyle of early settlers in the Appalachian region. Visitors can explore historic buildings, gardens, and learn about traditional crafts and skills.

3. Jenny Wiley State Resort Park: Located near the trail, this park offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, hiking trails, and opportunities for boating and fishing.

4. Butcher Hollow: The birthplace and childhood home of country music legend Loretta Lynn, Butcher Hollow is a historical site that offers a glimpse into the singer’s early life.

5. Dewey Lake: Another scenic lake along the trail, Dewey Lake offers opportunities for fishing, boating, and enjoying the natural beauty of the area.

6. Paintsville Golf Course: Golf enthusiasts can enjoy a round of golf at this picturesque course, which offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

7. Natural Bridge State Resort Park: Although not directly on the trail, this park is located nearby and features the iconic Natural Bridge, a sandstone arch that offers breathtaking views and hiking opportunities.

8. Yatesville Lake State Park: Situated near the trail, this park offers a variety of recreational activities, including boating, fishing, hiking, and camping.

9. Paintsville Historic District: Located in downtown Paintsville, this district features several historic buildings, including the Mayo Mansion, which is now a museum showcasing local history.

10. Van Lear Historical Society Museum: This museum is dedicated to preserving the history of the Van Lear coal mining community and features exhibits on the region’s coal mining heritage.

These are just a few of the many attractions and landmarks along the Paintsville Lake Kiwanis Trail. Exploring the trail will provide visitors with a rich blend of natural beauty, history, and cultural experiences.

Usage Guidelines

– Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.
– Clean up after your pets and dispose of waste properly.
– Bicycles are allowed on the trail, but riders must yield to pedestrians.
– Motorized vehicles are not permitted on the trail.
– Hunting or fishing is not allowed on the trail.
– No camping or overnight stays are permitted.
– The trail is open year-round, but certain sections may be closed during inclement weather or for maintenance.
– Use caution during hunting seasons and wear bright colors.
– No littering; please carry out any trash or dispose of it in designated bins.
– Respect other trail users and yield to slower-moving individuals.
– Do not disturb or harm wildlife or vegetation along the trail.
– No alcohol or illegal substances are allowed on the trail.
– Fires and open flames are prohibited.
– Use designated parking areas and do not block access roads or gates.
– Follow any additional rules or guidelines posted at trailheads or along the trail.

Seasonal Information

The Paintsville Lake Kiwanis Trail is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape and a variety of recreational activities. When planning your visit, it’s important to consider the best times of the year to fully enjoy the trail and be aware of any seasonal closures.

One of the best times to visit the Paintsville Lake Kiwanis Trail is during the spring season, particularly in April and May. During this time, the trail is adorned with vibrant wildflowers and lush greenery, creating a picturesque setting for hikers and nature lovers. The weather is generally mild, making it comfortable to explore the trail and take in the stunning views of Paintsville Lake. Additionally, springtime brings an abundance of bird species, making it a great opportunity for birdwatching enthusiasts.

Another ideal time to visit the trail is in the fall, specifically during the months of September and October. The surrounding foliage transforms into a stunning display of autumn colors, providing a breathtaking backdrop for hikers and photographers. The cooler temperatures during this season make it pleasant to explore the trail, and the absence of summer crowds allows for a more peaceful and serene experience.

It’s important to note that the Paintsville Lake Kiwanis Trail may have seasonal closures or restrictions. During the winter months, the trail may be closed or have limited access due to inclement weather conditions, such as snow and ice. It’s advisable to check with local authorities or the Paintsville Lake State Park for any closures or updates before planning your visit. Additionally, some sections of the trail may be temporarily closed for maintenance or repairs during certain times of the year, so it’s always a good idea to stay informed about any closures or restrictions to ensure a smooth and enjoyable visit.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Parking: Designated parking spaces close to the trail entrance for easy access.
2. Paved Pathway: The trail features a smooth, paved surface suitable for wheelchair users.
3. Accessible Restrooms: Restroom facilities equipped with ADA-compliant features such as grab bars and accessible stalls.
4. Rest Areas with Benches: Regularly spaced benches along the trail provide resting spots for individuals with mobility challenges.
5. Handrails and Guardrails: Sturdy handrails and guardrails are installed at appropriate locations to ensure safety and support for wheelchair users.
6. Accessible Picnic Areas: Picnic areas with accessible tables and seating options for individuals with disabilities.
7. Braille and Tactile Signage: Trail signage includes Braille and tactile elements to assist visually impaired individuals.
8. Accessible Fishing Platforms: Fishing platforms designed to accommodate wheelchair users, allowing them to enjoy the lake’s recreational activities.
9. Accessible Viewing Areas: Scenic viewpoints along the trail designed to provide wheelchair users with unobstructed views of the surrounding landscape.
10. Trailhead Information: ADA-compliant information boards at the trailhead provide details about the trail’s accessibility features and amenities.

Safety Information

When visiting the Paintsville Lake Kiwanis Trail, it is important to keep the following safety information in mind:

1. Stay on designated trails: Stick to the marked trails and avoid venturing off into unmarked areas. Straying from the trail can lead to getting lost or encountering hazardous terrain.

2. Wear appropriate footwear: Choose sturdy and comfortable footwear suitable for hiking or walking on uneven surfaces. This will provide better grip and reduce the risk of slipping or tripping.

3. Dress appropriately: Dress in layers and wear weather-appropriate clothing. Be prepared for changing weather conditions and bring rain gear if necessary. Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.

4. Carry water and snacks: Stay hydrated by carrying an adequate amount of water. It is also a good idea to bring some snacks to maintain energy levels during your hike.

5. Inform someone about your plans: Before heading out, let someone know about your plans, including the trail you will be hiking and your estimated return time. This way, if something goes wrong, someone will be aware and able to assist if needed.

6. Be aware of wildlife: While enjoying the trail, be mindful of the presence of wildlife. Keep a safe distance and avoid feeding or approaching any animals you encounter. If you come across larger wildlife, such as bears or mountain lions, make noise to alert them of your presence and slowly back away.

7. Carry a first aid kit: It is always a good idea to have a basic first aid kit with you. Include items such as band-aids, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and any personal medications you may require.

8. Stay alert and aware: Pay attention to your surroundings and be aware of any potential hazards, such as loose rocks, slippery surfaces, or steep drops. Stay focused and avoid distractions like using your phone while walking.

9. Respect the environment: Leave no trace by taking your trash with you and not disturbing the natural surroundings. Respect any posted signs or regulations regarding the trail and its usage.

10. Hike with a buddy: Whenever possible, hike with a companion. Having someone with you increases safety and provides assistance in case of an emergency.

Remember, safety should always be a priority when enjoying outdoor activities. By following these guidelines, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience on the Paintsville Lake Kiwanis Trail.

Conservation Notes

The conservation status of the Paintsville Lake Kiwanis Trail is considered to be well-maintained and protected. The trail is located within the Paintsville Lake State Park in Kentucky, which is dedicated to preserving the natural environment and promoting outdoor recreation. As a result, the conservation efforts for this trail are focused on maintaining the ecological integrity of the surrounding area.

The trail is carefully managed to minimize human impact on the ecosystem. Regular monitoring and maintenance activities are conducted to ensure that the trail remains in good condition while minimizing disturbance to the surrounding flora and fauna. This includes regular inspections of the trail surface, removal of any invasive plant species, and the implementation of erosion control measures.

Furthermore, the Paintsville Lake Kiwanis Trail is designed to provide visitors with an opportunity to appreciate and learn about the local biodiversity. Interpretive signs and educational materials are placed along the trail, providing information about the various plant and animal species found in the area. This helps to raise awareness about the importance of conservation and encourages visitors to respect and protect the natural environment.

Overall, the conservation status of the Paintsville Lake Kiwanis Trail is considered to be positive, with ongoing efforts to preserve the trail’s ecological integrity and promote environmental education.

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