A stalled proposal to expand horse trails at Greenbo Lake State Resort Park may get under way soon thanks to a donation by a local industry.
The nonprofit Friends of Greenbo Lake organization recently received a $3,500 donation from Marathon Catlettsburg Refinery’s Marine Repair Division, said Bobby Allen, chairman of the group. He said the funds will be used for mapping the location of trails in the park using GPS technology so they can later be created.
Park officials have long expressed the need for more trails, so that local and out-of-town riders will be enticed to stay longer at the park.
In April, Greenbo opened its new equine camping area. Created through a collaboration between county and park officials, the campground added five horse-friendly sites to its existing 50 site campground. The sites were built to accommodate trailers and with amenities riders would need to care for their four-legged friends.
There is no timeline for completion of the new horse trails, which are expected to be between 15 and 20 miles long.
The donation from Marathon, said Allen, will be used to hire a private company to map the trails. He expressed his gratitude to the company for supporting the nonprofit whose mission is to invest in the park.
“It will give us a layout. After that it is just a matter of clearing small brush and limbs that may be in the way,” said Allen. “The biggest expense is finding out where to build the trails and having it mapped so we could utilize it,” he said.
Allen wasn’t certain what area of the park the trails will be developed in, saying that will be up to park officials.
Cary Lyle, manager of Greenbo Lake State Resort Park, said the proposal must first get approval from the state officials before it can proceed to mapping. The park originally had approval in 2009 to flag and map some new horse trails, but it has since lapsed and needs reauthorization. Lyle was unsure how soon approval could come from state officials. He declined to comment further on the project.
The park has 3,330 acres of property, of which more than 1,500 are completely undeveloped. The park now has about 17 miles of horseback riding trails and 25 miles of multi-use trails.
Lyle praised the Friends group for their initiative and efforts to meet the parks needs and help it improve.
“I don’t know what we would do without them. They really have the needs of the park in mind. Without folks like that behind us, there wouldn’t be a lot of things getting done,” said Lyle.
The Friends group is a public nonprofit that operates separately from the park. Its membership includes more than a dozen community members, including a number of local officials and business leaders.
For more information on the group, call Allen at (606) 834-0007.
CARRIE STAMBAUGH can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2653.