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LIVINGSTON, Ky. – Gov. Steve Beshear recently announced a new program to help small communities seeking to take advantage of adventure tourism opportunities in their area.
“Trail Towns is a designation and assistance program that will help these communities connect the dots for travelers and guide them to trails, food, lodging, campgrounds, museums, entertainment and other services,” Beshear said. “The Trail Towns program will become a major part of our adventure tourism effort and will help communities improve their tourism economy. This will mean more jobs and businesses for small communities and more tourism opportunities for the entire state.”
Carrollton is one of more than 30 communities that 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.
Gov. Beshear and First Lady Jane Beshear made the announcement on Aug. 22 in Livingston, a Rockcastle County community that is seeking to become a Trail Town.
“It’s great to see so many communities interested in trails and adventure tourism,” Mrs. Beshear said. “It’s my hope that Trail Towns will help these communities benefit from the great tourism opportunities we already have.”
Trail Towns are communities along long distance trails, an extensive trail system or a river used for canoeing and kayaking. Livingston is near the Sheltowee Trace in the Daniel Boone National Forest and is along the Rockcastle River. There’s already a canoe outfitter, airboat rides, horse camp and bicycle rental shop in the area, and the community is making plans to improve signage to help guide visitors.
“The most important part of Trail Towns is that each community decides what approaches it wants to take to tie in the trail system and other services that trail users need,” Tourism, Arts and Heritage Secretary Marcheta Sparrow said. “These communities can work together and share ideas while at the same time they develop their downtowns and Main Streets.”
Joining the Beshears and Sparrow were representatives from communities interested in becoming a Trail Town.
The Office of Adventure Tourism will provide guidance to interested communities on issues such as trail development and signage, 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, visitor’s guides and other state promotional material.
For more information about Trail Towns and adventure tourism in Kentucky, visit www.kentuckytourism.com.