Some of the most scenic areas of Kentucky are accessed by some of the most winding roads in the state. Eastern Kentucky's winding Highway 23 has been dubbed "Country Music Highway" through much of the area, due to the number of stars whose hometowns are along the route. Stops on the way include the small towns of Paintsville and Prestonsburg in eastern Kentucky, bases for exploring breathtaking mountain scenery, enjoying outdoor recreation and delving into the area's country music heritage.
Steep cliffs and wooded coves surround Paintsville Lake State Park, which offers fishing, waterskiing, boating and camping. Experience the 1800's farm life at Mountain Homeplace nearby. The working farm includes costumed interpreters and is open April-October. The new Country Music Highway Museum features exhibits of local country stars such as Ricky Skaggs and Billy Ray Cyrus.
Head south to Van Lear, hometown of country singers Loretta Lynn and Crystal Gayle, to see Butcher Hollow, childhood home of the singers. Further south at Prestonsburg, Jenny Wiley State Resort Park, named for a pioneer woman taken captive by Indians, is the place for water lovers. The park offers an Olympic-sized pool, fishing, waterskiing and boating on Dewey Lake plus hiking trails of varying ability levels. Drive the 154-mile Jenny Wiley Trail Heritage Byway loop to view the rugged scenery.
Jenny Wiley Theatre presents musicals under the stars each summer. Prestonsburg is also home to the Mountain Arts Center, a recording studio and performance hall where the Kentucky Opry performs.
Paintsville and Prestonsburg are located on US 23 in eastern Kentucky, about 118 miles southeast of Lexington, KY. Take I-64 E to Bert Combs Mountain Parkway to US 460 (to Paintsville) or KY 114 (Prestonsburg).