Located in southeastern Kentucky, Harlan is one of the oldest of Kentucky's 120 counties. In the midst of the Appalachian coalfields and the county seat of Harlan County, Harlan is known mostly for it's rich coal history and beautiful scenery. Harlan was originally named "Mount Pleasant" due to a nearby Indian burial mound. In 1912 the Kentucky General Assembly renamed "Mount Pleasant" to Harlan since there was already a "Mount Pleasant" in the state.
Harlan is a short drive from the beauty of Kingdom Come State Park. At an elevation of 820m (2,700 feet), Kingdom Come State Park is the crowning jewel in the crest of Pine Mountain. Named after the popular Civil War novel "The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come," the park preserves 1,283 acres of unspoiled wilderness. Kingdom Come State Park is also home to some astonishing rock formations like the Raven Rock, a rock that soars 88m (290 feet) into the air at a 45 degree angle.
Harlan is also close to several festivals and events held each year such as the Kentucky Black Bear Festival. Each May thousands gather to experience free gospel concerts, car shows, storytelling, displays of authentic bear tracks as well as locally popular games.
Harlan is also a place to experience old fashioned downtown shopping. The downtown historic district of Harlan is home to several shops where you can find everything from clothing to paint and wallpaper. Southern hospitality and a beautiful environment makes Harlan a special Kentucky town.
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