COLUMBIA, Ky. – Columbia today became the 12th official “Trail Town” thanks to its bicycle routes and paddling opportunities, Tourism, Arts and Heritage Secretary Bob Stewart announced yesterday.
“We’re proud to add Columbia to the growing list of Trail Towns,” Stewart said. “The presence of Lindsey Wilson College will help support and attract people to outdoor recreation in the area.”
The Kentucky Trail Town Program is designed to help connect communities to trail systems and develop them as tourist destinations. It will guide travelers to trails, food, lodging, campgrounds, museums, entertainment and other services. The designation will help communities improve their tourism economy, add more jobs and create more tourism opportunities for the entire state.
“Congratulations to all of the people in Columbia who have worked on the Trail Town certification,” First Lady Jane Beshear said. “Certification as a Trail Town will help Columbia develop its tourism businesses and will benefit the entire area.”
More than 30 communities have started the application process to become a Trail Town and are working with the Office of Adventure Tourism in the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet.
Columbia is the 12th certified Kentucky Trail Town. It joins Dawson Springs, Livingston, Morehead, Olive Hill, London, Stearns, Elkhorn City, Jamestown, Manchester, Royalton, and Berea as official Kentucky Trail Towns.
Some of the outdoor attractions that are offered in the Columbia area include 25 miles of paddling on Russell Creek, which flows into the Green River; Green River Lake; a new local outfitter, Longhunter Outfitters; and Lindsey Wilson College, which has supported award-winning cycling teams.
The Office of Adventure Tourism will provide guidance to interested communities on issues such as trail development and signage, information and resources from other state agencies and how other communities have been successful by linking trails and services.
Once a community receives the Trail Town certification, the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, the Department of Travel and Tourism and Office of Adventure Tourism will help promote and market these communities and the services being offered. They will be highlighted on maps, websites, visitors’ guides and other state promotional material.
For more information about Trail Towns and adventure tourism in Kentucky, visit www.kentuckytourism.com