KY Great River Road

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Kentucky was part of Virginia when it was first possessed by the United States in 1783. Kentuckians struggled for years to separate, and on June 1, 1792 the United States Congress accepted the Kentucky Constitution and admitted it as the 15th state. In 1818, the United States Federal Government purchased claims to a large territory held by the Chickasaw, including the lands bound by the Mississippi River to the west, the Ohio River to the north and the Tennessee River to the east. It also included all of Tennessee west of the Tennessee River. This was called the Jackson Purchase after Andrew Jackson, a major land speculator at the time and later to become President of the United States. The Jackson Purchase includes all 8 western Kentucky counties including the 4 bordering the Mississippi River: those of Ballard, Carlisle, Hickman and Fulton, which make up the KY Great River Road.

The KY Great River Road has lots to offer including a National Scenic Byway where you can explore Kentucky’s Civil War Heritage Trail, the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail and the Blueway ToT Route. Camp at Columbus-Belmont State Park, a Civil War site occupied by Confederate and Union forces. Chase adventure on the Mississippi River Trails of Kentucky with over 20 miles of ATV permitted trails in Carlisle County on river roads with views of the Mighty Mississippi River.

Local museums provide history of the four Mississippi River counties and their communities to visitors of Western Kentucky: Fulton County Museum in Clinton, Carlisle County Museum and Library in Bardwell and the Barlow House Museum in Barlow. Historical remains of Native American dwelling in the KY Great River Road area can be seen at Wickliffe Mounds in Ballard County. It’s an archaeological site of a village of Mississippian mound builders located on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River.


All information from Photos from KY Great River Road Organization.




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