PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Pikeville leaders said it will bring more money into the community and meant a new adventure tourism opportunity.
Some said it is a new project that benefits people and horses.
State and city officials held a groundbreaking for a new horse trail at Bob Amos park that has been three years in the making.
They said they finally got the more $320,000 of funding secured. Half of the money came from a federal grant and the other half was matched by the city of Pikeville. City Manager and Tourism Chairman Donovan Blackburn said this will just add to the recent improvements at the park.
Many celebrated at the groundbreaking for a new horse trail at Bob Amos Park in Pikeville.
“The horse industry has an entire economic impact on the entire state of Kentucky,” said Blackburn.
“If you look at the demographics of the folks that use these trails, they come in your town, stay at your R.V. parks, eat at your restaurants they stay in your hotels”
The nearly 2.5 mile trail will be handicapped-accessible.
“It will be for people with special needs as well,” said Barry Chaney, Pikeville City Commissioner.
“There will be ramps on the trail in case special needs people on the ride get tired.”
Officials said the horse trail is just one of many things they have done to boost tourism and economic development in Pikeville. They said they not only wanted to draw in people from the outside, but there was another goal to improve the quality of life for people who live there as well.
“The city commissioners really wanted to do something to put our name on the map with the nation,” said Blackburn.
“Since there was popularity with the Hatfield and McCoy feud, it was such a great opportunity with that we were able to purchase a bus to do our riding tour.”
Some said it is part of a region-wide effort.
“Anywhere we can get projects going, this is future economic development,” said Rep. Leslie Combs (D) 94th District.
The chairwoman of tourism and energy said “this is creating jobs and actually I think tourism for eastern Kentucky is our future.”
Combs said they want to take advantage of the natural beauty of the mountains.
City officials said they expect the trail to open during the spring of next year and it should be free to ride. Chaney said they are talking to vendors about having horses in the park to ride, which would cost money.