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Groups want multi-use trail system on Ky.-Tenn.-Va. border

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

MIDDLESBORO, Ky. (WYMT/WKYT) - Several groups on the Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia borders want to connect all of the trail systems to make one big trail. They believe this will help draw people to adventure tourism in the area.

They are already trying to get grant money for the project.

Many trails go through several counties on the Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia border. Now several groups are working together in an effort to connect all of the trails together.

"We want to link together a lot of the existing trails because there's so many opportunities for outdoor recreation in the area," said Rick Stowe, Committee Member.

They want to make the multi-use trail system incorporate hiking, biking, and horseback riding.

"Just to have more interconnected instead of everyone doing kind of its own specific purpose, more multi-use," said Stowe.

Both private and public groups in the three states along with representatives from the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park are working together on the proposed trail system.

They believe connecting all of the trails will bring more tourists to the whole region.

"We're hoping to go with the model after Damascus, Virginia. It has the Creeper Trail, the Appalachian Trail, because it does bring a lot of commerce, tourism, and things like that into an area when there really is a destination or if something is the center of several different trails, it kind of funnels everything in from the different places," said Stowe.

They will seek public input on all of the proposed ideas and the trail system before plans are put in place.

Officials say they are submitting grant applications in August and will seek public input at that time.

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