Area working hard to earn trail town certification

Abigail Gibson

PIKEVILLE — The City of Pikeville is working closely with the Kentucky Department of Tourism in an effort to gain certification as a Kentucky Trail Town.


Officials said there is a tremendous opportunity and movement toward outdoor recreation activities which can help boost the region's economy, encourage physical fitness and promote natural resources.


"We will become one of the only communities in the state of Kentucky to feature two trail towns," said Pike County Tourism CVB Executive Director Tony K. Tackett. "Elkhorn City community members worked to become a trail town and Pikeville is now following suit. This will be a win-win for local mom-and-pop businesses, and will also boost interest in our other attractions."


One of eastern Kentucky's natural resources is the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River. It is known as the Blue Water Trail destination, providing activities along the river for water enthusiasts, residents and tourists.


"Pikeville becoming a trail town gives us another opportunity to promote our region and all of the great outdoor activities that we offer," Pike County Tourism CVB Marketing Director Jay Shepherd said.


He said the Hatfield and McCoy River Trails feature kayaking down the beautiful Levisa Fork River.


"The community can benefit from these vast resources by outdoor adventures, as well as hospitality in the traditional downtown shops and restaurants," Shepherd added.


Prestonsburg is also working on becoming a trail town.


"Being a certified trail town gives you more marketing and advertisement throughout the state," Prestonsburg Mayor Les Stapleton said. "It will also increase our tourism."


He said the city is moving along well with the process and should be certified by the end of the year.


A trail can provide recreation for people of all ages, fitness levels and offers the chance to study nature or local history.


"We already offer a lot, but we hope to incorporate tour guides," Stapleton said.


McCoy Motorsports, a family-owned and operated performance shop specializing in motorcycle, ATV and UTV aftermarket parts and accessories, has jumped on board.


They have recently added mountain bikes to their retail shop.


Pikeville's application process will continue until September and will be submitted to Kentucky Tourism for review.