First Lady Jane Beshear's Communications Office
First Lady Presents Recreational Trails Grant to Forest Service
MOREHEAD, Ky. – First Lady Jane Beshear today presented the Cumberland Ranger District of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service with a $100,000 Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grant to assist in developing and maintaining recreational trails in a five county region.
“Since the launch of our Adventure Tourism initiative last March, we have been working diligently in efforts to make Kentucky the nation’s premier destination for outdoor recreation,” said Mrs. Beshear. “The Forest Service is a great partner in our efforts to develop and maintain our extensive trail systems throughout the state and I’m pleased that they will use this grant to benefit a variety of trails in several counties.”
The USDA Forest Service plans to use the funds for trail head operations and trail maintenance on the Sheltowee National Recreation Trail in Rowan County and the White Sulphur off-highway vehicles (OHV) trail in Bath County and in maintaining the many miles of hiking trails and trail head facilities in the Red River Gorge area of Powell, Menifee and Wolfe Counties. All of these areas are located within the Daniel Boone National Forest.
"Our thanks and appreciation to the Governor's office and the Department of Local Government for their continued support of our efforts to maintain the many outdoor activities and trail systems within the Daniel Boone National Forest,” said Bill Lorenz, acting forest supervisor of the Daniel Boone National Forest. “I know the citizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, as well as the many visitors from other states that enjoy the National Forest each year, will benefit greatly from the work that this grant will fund.”
The Daniel Boone National Forest spans 21 counties in the Appalachian foothills of eastern Kentucky encompassing 707,000 acres. It offers over 600 miles of trails as well as a variety of outdoor activities including hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, biking and horseback riding.
The RTP is an assistance program funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Kentucky ’s RTP is administered by the Department for Local Government and requires that applicants match the amount of funds requested to receive a 50 percent reimbursement on approved projects. Those eligible to apply are city and county governments, state and federal agencies, and nonprofit organizations.
RTP grants may be used to provide assistance for acquisition of easements, development and/or maintenance of recreational trails and trailhead facilities for both motorized and non-motorized use. Examples of trail uses include hiking, bicycling, in-line skating, equestrian use, off-road motorcycling and all-terrain vehicle riding.
The Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet just completed, for the first time, a detailed database to include all trails in the state. Working with the Department of Parks, the Transportation Cabinet, the Department for Local Government and local elected officials and visitor’s bureaus, the database will benefit those seeking outdoor recreation activities in Kentucky. Outdoor enthusiasts will be able to search for trails based on region, type and length. It will be available online later this summer at www.kyunbridledadventure.com.