Rowan county was formed in 1856. It is located in the Eastern Coal Field region of the state. The elevation in the county ranges from 625 to 1435 feet above sea level. In 2010 the county population was 23,333 in a land area of 279.80 square miles, an average of 83.4 people per square mile.
The county seat is Morehead.
Most of the county is within the Daniel Boone National Forest.