Work underway on eastern Kentucky’s off-road vehicle trail

Published: Dec. 22, 2021 at 7:15 PM EST
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JOHNSON COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) - In an area where coal used to be the main industry for the economy, there’s a group of trailblazers hoping to drive growth to the area.

Work is underway to establish the First Frontier Appalachian Trail system, an off-road vehicle trail that would connect 19 eastern Kentucky counties and create a major adventure tourist destination.

Lara Pack is one of the trailblazers behind the system in Johnson County.

She serves as the representative for Johnson County on the First Frontier Appalachian Trail board and is a trail-town catalyst for the county.

“There’s an adventurous spirit in all of us,” Pack said. “We’re no longer a coal industry place and we’re [Johnson County] perfectly poised to bring people for adventure tourism.”

In Johnson County, there are two trails mapped out apart of the trail system.

The proposed trails are patterned after the Hatfield-McCoy trails in West Virginia. Pack said a study done by Marshall University shows the success of the trails.

“It showed the economic impact the trails system had. Across nine counties there were 38 million dollars of revenue. That’s what we’re hoping to have in eastern Kentucky counties,” Pack said.

Dustin Music, an avid trail rider and chair member of the Johnson County trail board, said the county is a great place to do it.

“There’s a ton of history; that’s why it’s such a great place to do it. You have so many people coming into the area and why not give them something with an area plenty to offer?” Music said. “We want to be able to connect all these counties together. We want riders to start here in Van Lear and end up in Pike or Floyd counties.”

To learn more about the trail, click here.

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