PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - It is the opening weekend for the Hatfield and McCoy River Trails in Pikeville. Officials are hoping to see more folks than ever out on the water this year
They say it is one of the best kept secrets in the state of Kentucky. Ronnie Hylton explains, "I think it is a little secret back here that we have kept and nobody has really found out about...the river is full of large fish, and really clean water."
Now, thanks to what officials call adventure tourism, more folks are learning about all the Big Sandy River has to offer. Pikeville's Director of Tourism and Attractions, Sean Cochran says, "For the last two years it has operated as the Hatfield and McCoy River Trail, every year it grows, we have more people becoming aware of it."
The Hatfield and McCoy River Trails offer numerous water adventures and feature an 8.3 mile long trail with four different access points.
Officials say the growing popularity of the river trails has caused many folks to go out and buy their own canoes and kayaks. Cochran explains, "The greatest thing I think the river trail has probably done is raised awareness about the resource of the river we have. I am beginning to see a lot of people that have bought their own kayaks, we have retailers now that carry kayaks and canoes here in town."
Just last year the trail was selected as a Blue Water Trail by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife. Officials say that is due to the efforts of the city commission to make easy access to the river and also clean up the water way.
Hylton says, "It is bringing people to Pikeville, and you know people come and float the river and then they may shop at a grocery store, or a restaurant, or stay at a motel. So it is bringing money to the area and we are getting to show off some of the beautiful scenery we have right here in Pike County."
The Hatfield and McCoy River Trails operate Friday through Sunday with pick up times at noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
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