Adventure Tourism Could Bring Millions Of Dollars To Eastern Kentucky

By: Dara Rees Email
By: Dara Rees Email

It's an industry that could bring millions of dollars to the state.

Lieutenant Governor-Elect Daniel Mongiardo made a major announcement concerning adventure tourism in eastern Kentucky.

Two families signed over more than 10,000 acres of land for a new ATV trail that will connect five eastern Kentucky counties.

Future plans include additional trails for horse-back riding, dirt bikes, and walkers.

There's even talk about white water rafting near Buckhorn Lake.

Lieutenant Governor elect Daniel Mongiardo says he hopes to make Kentucky's ATV trails the largest in the country..

Many are excited about the latest plans for adventure tourism in eastern Kentucky.

“I think adventure tourism is an untapped resource for us here in the mountains of eastern Kentucky, a destination for tourists, not just from around the state, but from around the country and around the world,” Mongiardo said.

The Abner and Gay families signed over land in Clay, Owsley, Perry, Breathitt, and Leslie Counties for a new trail for horses and off road vehicles.

With more than 70,000 visitors last year ATV trails in Harlan County are already profiting.

“On average, if they stayed in Harlan County overnight, they spent 187 dollars per person per day, which is really helping the economy of Harlan, Kentucky,” Mongiardo said.

“Harlan County has shown that this will work, they have proven it. They've made millions of dollars off it already, but the people in the end will end up with something they've never had before,” Perry County Judge Executive Denny Ray Noble said.

Mongiardo hopes to connect the eastern Kentucky trails with some in the western part of the state.. making more than two-thousand miles available to ATV’s, horseback riding, and hiking.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by james Location: vicco on Nov 23, 2007 at 05:22 AM
    I AGREE WITH SERENITY FROM PRESTONSBURGH. 75% OR MORE ARE DESTRUCTIVE,TRASH THROWING DRUG HEADS LOOKING TO STEAL, OR DESTROY WHAT PEOPLE HAVE WORKED FOR FOR GENERATIONS. IF YOU DO NOT BELIEVE, COME AND SEE THE COUNTRY CALLED "BIG ELK"
  • by Craig on Nov 22, 2007 at 10:01 AM
    Amen, duncan. This is what's already happened in West Virginia.
  • by duncan Location: mousie, ky on Nov 22, 2007 at 07:43 AM
    Yeah, bring the tourists in by the thousands. Get the largest ATV trail system in the country. WHAT A VIEW THEY WILL HAVE! Beautiful strip jobs where mountains used to be. Amber waves of grass where tress were supposed to be planted by the coal companies but replaced by cheap gopher grass. Dead fish floating in the majestic mountain streams that are now mining company landfills. They will see the striking beauty of deer and elk dead from free falling off of a highwall left by the strip mines. Yeah, come and see what used to be a beautiful part of our country. Look where the mountains used to be. Look at the few mountains that are left. They are so serene after the loggers have raped them and left them naked and dead. Come to wild wonderful eastern Kentucky. By the way, while you're here try not to get killed by a coal truck. The drivers don't get paid by the hour, they get paid by the load. So when a black massive truck goes by and blows you off the road, welcome!
  • by Anonymous on Nov 22, 2007 at 05:31 AM
    This will be very big for the area IF the politicans will work together and not get greedy for taxes. Harlan County Ridge Runner trails are free and these should be that way. Money is made by people coming in. I have been to Harlan several times and I spend quite a bit of money for lodging, food, fuel, and the like.
  • by atv rider Location: eastern ky on Nov 22, 2007 at 04:29 AM
    to the smart a== from prestonsburg.atv riders from harlan county work hard for ther money.riders from prestonsburg also ride with us and they are good people. must just be afew like you living there
  • by Wendell Location: Barbourville on Nov 22, 2007 at 04:20 AM
    ohh boy dont that sound fun? what is our new governer going to do for seky? now that America is a crumbeling nation I guess this state needs to think of its self commonwealth the Kentucky Nation.
  • by hopeful Location: leslie county on Nov 22, 2007 at 12:43 AM
    I hope this helps our beautiful state,but with more tourism also comes more violence and accidents. I have heard it rumored for a while now that Dollywood was putting in a splash country in hazard, is this true? that would be wonderful.
  • by Chris Location: Corbin ky on Nov 21, 2007 at 11:08 PM
    I think this is a great idea..Maybe they should use about 50 acers of that and build a amusment park to bring in more money!
  • by Chloe Location: Winchester on Nov 21, 2007 at 05:50 PM
    Ahh, how wonderful - another ATV trail in eastern KY. That's just what that section of the state needs. But then maybe it will keep those riders off their streets, highways, right of ways and people's private property. According to friends we visit, your law enforcement does nothing about this situation even though this practice is illegal. I may live in Winchester but I'm a frequent visitor to eastern KY and while traveling in my licensed, insured vehicle, I have dodged those ATV and dirt bike riders many times. Mongiardo might want to re-consider his idea and look into locating a real industry there. If an ATV trail is the only thing he can come up with to improve your ecomony then God help you during the next four years. Re: Herman of Manchester - When I visit eastern KY I too enjoy those hills you people call mountains - sometimes, weather permitting, on the back of my husband's licnesed, insured Harley! And by the way, we ride legally - obeying the laws.
  • by Billy Location: Harlan on Nov 21, 2007 at 05:24 PM
    Another elected official trying to take credit for something that's already here!! I'm voting independent from now on!!!!!!!
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