AskBiography Logo   Latest News  Follow Us on Twitter  Follow Us on Google Buzz  Became Fan - Facebook  Subscribe to RSSRSS   Bookmark and Share

Black Mountain (Kentucky)

Mountain information
NameBlack Mountain
Elevation4145 ft (1263.4 m)
Prominence1905 ft (580.6 m)
ListingU.S. state high point
LocationHarlan County, Kentucky, USA
RangeCumberland Mountains
First ascentunknown
Easiest routeHike

     Home | Mountain | Black Mountain (Kentucky)

Black Mountain is the tallest mountain in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, USA, with a summit elevation of 4145 ft (1263.4 m) above mean sea level and a top to bottom height of over 2500 ft (762 m). The summit is located at in Harlan County, Kentucky near the Virginia border, just above the towns of Lynch, Kentucky and Appalachia, Virginia. It is about 500 ft (152.4 m) taller than any other mountain in Kentucky and is one of the tallest mountains in Appalachia outside the Blue Ridge Mountains region.

Route 160 east of Lynch, Kentucky and west of Appalachia, Virginia crosses the mountain. The summit is reached by a narrow road that turns off to the right (coming from Lynch, KY or to the left, if coming from Appalachia, VA) at the Kentucky-Virginia line (the gap that is the highest part of Route 160) and leads past an FAA radar dome. There is a one lane dirt road to the left not far past the radar dome that leads to the summit. The summit is marked with an abandoned metal lookout tower, National Geodetic Survey benchmark (the benchmark is 6 feet below the highest point which is apparently directly under the old lookout tower) and multiple radio towers.

The FAA Radar dome is nearby, but below the summit. Trees on both sides of the radar dome have been cleared, so views of other mountains are visible. On a clear day the Great Smoky Mountains on the Tennessee and North Carolina border are clearly visible.

Black Mountain's history is intimately tied to the coal mining of the surrounding region. Lynch, Kentucky, was once one of the largest coal mining towns in the nation. In 1998, Jericol Mining, Inc., petitioned to use mountaintop removal methods in the area of Black Mountain. Though the summit itself was not directly threatened, many people protested this action due to the peak's status as the state's highest point. In 1999, Kentucky purchased mineral and timber rights to the summit and prevented future large scale mining. Coal companies have alleged that mined coal veins converge beneath the summit of Black Mountain and that the summit is prone to collapse.

A coal company named Penn Virginia Resources of Radnor, Pennsylvania owns the summit, but allows public access with the completion of a waiver.

Warning: simplexml_load_file( [function.simplexml-load-file]: failed to open stream: HTTP request failed! HTTP/1.0 410 Gone in /home/askbio/public_html/index_bio.php on line 257

Warning: simplexml_load_file() [function.simplexml-load-file]: I/O warning : failed to load external entity "" in /home/askbio/public_html/index_bio.php on line 257

Fatal error: Call to a member function children() on a non-object in /home/askbio/public_html/index_bio.php on line 260