By Jeremy Patton
Big Creek Picnic Area is located near the mouth of Big Creek at its confluence with the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River, in McCreary County, Kentucky. Here, you will also find Big Creek Boat Ramp.
The picnic area is not frequently visited. It provides a few parking spaces with tables and bear-proof trash cans. As of 1/19/17, the boat ramp was in good shape.
From US-27, turn west onto Wildborg Loop. Turn right onto Tom Roberts Road. Bear left at the sign that says “Big Creek Road” (this may be where the pavement meets gravel, but I cannot remember). Drive until you find a pull-off on your right. This is the trailhead for Buzzard Rock. For more information, read my article: Buzzard Rock.
Pass the trailhead and make a sharp left turn, followed by a sharp right turn. Somewhere in this vicinity, the road joins a ravine. Watch for Big Creek Road Falls on your left. It is hard to see, so it might be easier to roll down your window and listen. It lives on an unnamed stream; it is beautiful, but not strong, so be sure to visit after lots of rain. The climb down is off-trail and steep.
Continue for about 1000 feet until you arrive at an intersection. Turn right onto Big Creek Boat Ramp Road. I cannot remember if it is marked. Continue for about 2000 feet to the picnic area.
The mouth of Big Creek was lovely on 1/19/17. My ex-girlfriend and I found a faint path that hugged the creek bank. I do not know how far it goes, but I intend to find out this winter.
I hope to talk Shane and Angie into paddling with me tomorrow, putting in at the boat ramp. Yahoo Falls Scenic Area is a little more than two miles to the south. Buzzard Rock soars above the river, about 2000 feet to the north. Numerous tributaries line the river and I suspect that I will find waterfalls in many of them.
From the boat ramp, I also recall seeing what appeared to be a chimney rock to the south. I cannot wait to investigate it via kayak.