Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

July 6, 2014

Morehead to become Kentucky Trail Town

Jane Beshear to make official announcement July 22

MOREHEAD — After nearly two years of community effort, it’s going to happen.

Members of the Morehead Tourism Commission were informed recently that first lady Jane Beshear will be here July 22 to announce officially that Morehead is becoming a Kentucky Trail Town.

Morehead will become the third city so designated, following Dawson Springs and Livingston in 2013.

Gov. Steve Beshear announced the program in August 2012. It is managed by the Office of Adventure Tourism in the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet.

“We are excited beyond words,” said Joy Brown, executive director of Morehead Tourism. “So many people have worked so hard to make this happen. July 22 will be a historic day for our community and local tourism.”

Morehead’s application was developed by the Trail Town Task Force consisting of Brown, Angela Traver, Tina Holbrook, Dave Dummer, Steve Barbour, Regina Thompson, Keith Terry, April Haight, Jamie Breeze and Rodney Watkins.

Brown said the state designation will transform the reputation of Morehead and Rowan County with trail users.

“This designation tells the state, nation and world that we are proud of our trails, that we welcome trail users, that we have much for them to see and do in our town and that we will have the goods and services they need,” she added.

Brown said the official announcement will be made at 10 a.m. on the grounds of the Rowan County Arts Center at Old Courthouse Square.

“We’ve already started developing that area as a trail stop for users on the soon-to-be-rerouted Sheltowee Trace National Recreational Trail,” Brown added. “We’re so proud of our community that we’re bringing the trail right down Main Street.”

She said official word of the route change is expected any day from the U.S. Forest Service.

The change will bring Kentucky’s longest trail off the ridge behind Eagle Lake, across the Morehead State University campus, onto Main Street, west to Ky. 519 to Clearfield and back onto forest service land at Mill Branch.

Since its creation 35 years ago, the Sheltowee Trace has circumvented downtown Morehead by following Ky. 32 to Bluestone Road and around to U.S. 60 near Lakeview Heights.

Brown said the Trail Town designation was a major factor in the Sheltowee Trace Association opening a branch office at the Morehead Conference Center.

“The STA realized early on that we were serious about becoming a Trail Town and that’s one of the main reasons they have a presence here now,” she stated.

The Kentucky Trail Town designation will make Morehead eligible for the following:

Eligibility of local marketing dollars for matching funds through the Kentucky Department of Travel and Tourism.

Designation in state maps and visitor guides and on the adventure tourism website and other state tourism marketing materials.

Highway signage designating the community as a Kentucky Trail Town

Proclamation from the governor designating it as an official Kentucky Trail Town.

Public ceremony with state and local officials for announcement of designation and unveiling of the signage.


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