Dawkins Line Rail Trail
- Horseback Riding
ALERT: The coronavirus outbreak has led to the closure of some Kentucky State Park facilities such as museums, gift shops and historic homes. For the latest details, click here.
Currently, the Dawkins Line Rail Trail is 18 miles long. An additional 18 miles will be added in the second phase of the trail work — when completed, the path will be 36 miles. This trail, built on top of rails from an out-of-use rail bed, is a major attraction for walkers, bicyclists and horseback riders from all over Kentucky and beyond. Many come to ride or walk with friends and others incorporate it into their daily active routines.
The first 18-mile leg of the trail, from Hagerhill in Johnson County to Royalton in Magoffin County, was opened to hikers, cyclists and horseback riders on June 15, 2013. This 18-mile section features 24 trestles and the Gun Creek Tunnel, which is 662 feet long. The trail follows the old Dawkins Line railroad bed that runs from Hagerhill to Evanston, KY. The Dawkins Line Rail Trail is the largest rail-to-trail in the state. Check back for updates about trail construction and make plans to visit this excellent hike and bike trail.
The restroom facilities on the Dawkins Line Rail Trail are closed. They are still under contract and controlled by the Kentucky Department of Transportation with the PHASE II construction along the Dawkins Line Rail Trail. Once work has been completed, the Kentucky Department of Parks will take ownership. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please call Paintsville Lake State Park at 606-297-8486 if you need to report maintenance issues.
Rules & Regulations
SPECIAL USE PERMITS - Anytime anyone or a group wants to do an event on the Dawkins Line Rail Trail, that will be open to the general public, they are required to complete and mail a Special Use Permit Application.
DAWKINS LINE RAIL TRAIL REGULATIONS - Please respect adjoining private property. Trails are managed as part of the natural environment. Visitors must be prepared to meet and accept nature on its own terms. Please stay on designated trail. Trail is open from sunrise to sunset. Do not hike, bike, or horse ride alone. Proper footwear recommended. Help preserve the trail’s natural resources.
- MOTORIZED VEHICLES
- Rappelling and rock climbing.
- Hunting or disturbing wildlife.
- Collecting or digging for artifacts.
- Picking flowers or harming plants.
- Carving or damaging rocks & trees.
- Pets allowed on leash only.
- Be considerate of all user groups.
- Keep trail clean & safe for everyone.
- Pack out what you pack in, including cigarette butts.
- Horseback riders should dismount and lead horses across bridges and trestles.
- Walking is the only acceptable gait for horses.
- Helmets are not required for bicyclists and equestrians, but are strongly recommended.
- All horses brought onto Dawkins Line Rail Trail shall test negative to a USDA approved test for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) within the previous 12 months & a copy of this test shall accompany the animal.
- Call 911 for emergency assistance.