Posted on 2/2/14

DAWSON frontDAWSON SPRINGS, Ky. (5/10/13) – Yesterday afternoon, Jane Beshear visited Dawson Springs to recognize them being the first Trail Town in Kentucky.
Trail Towns are designed in efforts to promote and develop adventure tourism opportunities for the community and for the rest of the state. Trail Towns are also designed to guide travelers to trails, lodging, camping, fishing, food, entertainment, museums and other services. This designation and assistance program will help improve Dawson Springs community tourism economy and help provide more jobs.
Dawson Springs Mayor, Jenny Sewell stated, “We are elated to have completed the requirements to become Kentucky Trail Town. This program has given us a vision and procedure to make successful the work our community has been doing in creating trail experiences.”
Currently more than 30 communities have started the application process and working with the office of Adventure Tourism and in the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet. The importance of this Trail Town program is that each community gets to decide what approaches the town's wants that ties into the trail system and the services that trail users will need. The office of tourism will also be providing guidance to the intended communities on issues on trail development and signage.

Elaine Wilson, Executive Director, of the Office of Adventure Tourism stated, “These communities and towns become the gateway to adjacent trail systems. They are planning how to attract and enhance businesses to cater to trail users and learning from other successful towns how to go about doing that.”
Dawson Springs, is located close to several areas with outdoor attractions such as; Pennyrile Forest State Resort, Tradewater River, Pennyrile State Forest and Lake Beshear. The community also offers a 13-miles hiking and biking trail, which connects to the state park that connects to 14,600 acres of forest. This offers 50 miles of horseback riding trails. Dawson Springs is also promoting mountain biking, cycling and paddling.
Jane Beshear stated, “This is one of the ways for economic development. It’s important to bring jobs in but to be able to develop our  so many own home grown economy which depends on our natural resources that we are so rich in, in this state. We have so many opportunities here, outside to enjoy and have fun. One can travel across the state if you want to be on a bike or horse or on foot. There are just so many ways to get close to nature and enjoy the beauty and heritage that we have in Kentucky. Dawson Springs is so rich in their history from the past, with all of the mineral baths that were here. To be able to revive that interest and that desire for people to come visit. This is happening all over the Commonwealth. This is the first official Trail Town designation and we are excited it’s in the governor’s home town. But we want to see many more.”

Amber Mena
SurfKY News
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