Part of effort to promote and develop adventure tourism opportunities across the state
MOREHEAD, Ky. (July 22, 2014) — The community of Morehead is now a Kentucky “Trail Town,” and is part of the effort to promote and develop adventure tourism opportunities across the state, First Lady Jane Beshear announced.
“I’d like to thank and congratulate the community leaders of Morehead for their work over the last two years to become a Trail Town,” Beshear said. “This is a great opportunity for your community as well as the tourists who visit Morehead and all it has to offer.”
The Kentucky Trail Town Program is designed to help connect communities to trail systems and help develop them as tourist destinations. It will guide travelers to trails, food, lodging, campgrounds, museums, entertainment and other services. The designation will help communities improve their tourism economy, add more jobs and create more tourism opportunities for the entire state.
More than 30 communities have started the application process to become a Trail Town and are working with the Office of Adventure Tourism in the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet. Morehead joins Dawson Springs and Livingston as official Kentucky Trail Towns.
Beshear noted some of the assets that Morehead has as part of its plan in developing a Trail Town. They include: being located at the northern tip of the Daniel Boone National Forest; the northern end of Kentucky’s longest trail, the Sheltowee Trace; nearby Cave Run Lake Recreation Area with more than 100 miles of trails; the Morehead Parks system; the Licking River water trail, Eagle Lake, and Cave Run Lake; Kentucky Folk Art and Rowan County Arts Center; and an excellent downtown shopping district.
The Morehead Tourism Commission led the initiative, along with the Sheltowee Trace Association, various community leaders and volunteers. Other partners include Morehead State University, the U.S. Forest Service, the city of Morehead and Rowan County Fiscal Court.
As part of the Trail Town work, the path of the Sheltowee Trace, the longest trail in Kentucky and which is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, will be moved into Morehead along Main Street to improve accessibility.
Joining the First Lady for the announcement were Tourism Secretary Bob Stewart, Adventure Tourism Director Elaine Wilson, Rep. Rocky Adkins, Morehead Mayor David Perkins and Rowan County Judge-Executive Jim Nickell.
“Morehead has worked hard to become a Trail Town because we know this designation can be an important community and economic boost,” Adkins said. “Tourism is already a major part of our economy in Morehead and Rowan County, and this announcement will add another tourist attraction and marketing opportunity for our region. Congratulations to the many folks and groups who made this designation possible.”
Wilson said the most important part of the Trail Town program is that each community decides what approaches it wants to take to tie in the trail system and other services that trail users need.
“The Trail Town designation is an opportunity for Morehead to present the outdoor assets we have in this area,” Perkins said. “A lot of people have worked very hard to get this and we appreciate their contributions.”
The Office of Adventure Tourism will provide guidance to interested communities on issues such as trail development and signage, information and resources from other state agencies, and how other communities have been successful by linking trails and services.
Once a community receives the Trail Town certification, the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, the Department of Travel and Tourism and Office of Adventure Tourism will help promote and market these communities and the services being offered. They will be highlighted on maps, websites, visitors’ guides and other state promotional material.
For more information about Trail Towns and adventure tourism in Kentucky, visit kentuckytourism.com.