Bee Rock Recreation Area sprawls along the banks of the Rockcastle River, a Kentucky Wild and Scenic River. The area is a haven for outdoors enthusiasts, located only a short distance from Cumberland Falls and Big South Fork National Recreation Area.
At the entrance to Bee Rock is the Old Sublimity Bridge. The one-lane truss was constructed for Kentucky State Route 192 by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the late 1930s and is now a walking span.
Because the Rockcastle River lies downstream of the Cumberland River Wolf Creek Dam, water levels can vary greatly, adding to the appeal of the river. While the river may appear to be serene and a pleasure to canoe down, trees and debris lying at the tops of massive boulders tell a vastly different story. During heavy rainstorms or annual water releases, water levels can rise exceptionally quick, flooding the riverbanks and many of the tributaries that feed into the Rockcastle.
Upstream from the campgrounds is The Narrows, named for the narrowing and fast-moving current of the Rockcastle. Reminiscent of the Kentucky River Palisades in terms of topography, with 100-foot limestone cliffs abound, the river features mammoth boulders strewn about, creating sets of rapids that are unmatched in the state. Beginning with the Big Narrows, with rapids rated Class III and IV, and followed up by Beech Narrows, with numerous “Keeper” hydraulics and undercut rocks create a rather thrilling and dangerous situation for rafters.
There are five trails through Bee Rock. The longest is the Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail (T 100), Section 25, which follows part of the Rockcastle Narrows Loop trail (T 401). The Bee Rock Loop Trail is a little over 2 miles in length and explores two small waterfalls and an overlook of the Rockcastle. The Rockcastle Narrows Loop Trail adds onto that with an easy hike along the river rapids, and is over 4 miles in length.
There are five trails through Bee Rock. The longest is the Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail (T 100), Section 25, which follows part of the Rockcastle Narrows Loop trail (T 401).
From I-75 at London, Kentucky, travel west on KY 192. From the Cumberland Parkway and KY 80 at Somerset, follow KY 192 east.