In a recent study commissioned by the Kentucky Chamber Foundation, it said “there is potential for eastern Kentucky to develop into a tourism destination area such as a modern, well-planned Gatlinburg.”
In a cooperative effort between Harlan Fiscal Court, Kentucky Department of Forestry and private individuals, plans are being made to develop Harlan County and the surrounding area into a tourist destination said Harlan County Economic Developer Tony Felosi.
“One of those things we have been working diligently on is a family friendly horseback riding, hiking and mountain bike trail beginning at the old Putney Ranger Station and progressing all the way into Letcher County and atop Black Mountain,” said Felosi. “There are approximately three miles of trail from the station to the top of Pine Mountain. When finished, you will be able to travel the Pine Mountain Adventure Trail without hitting pavement to Goss Park and intersect with Little Shepherd Trail and then travel to Kingdom Come State Park. The trail will eventually go all the way into Letcher County and atop Black Mountain for a total of approximately 90 miles, which will be one of the longest trails in the state of Kentucky. “
On the trail, you may visit Goss Park, named in honor of longtime Harlan attorney Eugene Goss, which consists of picnic areas, a shelter house and when finished restored hitching posts and troughs for the horses, grills, and primitive camping.
“For those who enjoy mountain biking, you could drive up to Goss Park or Cupp Lake and have a 12- to 14-mile ride by the time you got to Kingdom Come State Park and then down into the Cumberland area,” said Felosi. “We want to tie together several of the existing assets that we already have in Harlan County.”
Lonnie Riley, co-director of Meridzo Center Ministries, said, “Harlan County has as much or more to offer than any other place in the United States as far as the beauty of the land.”
He said he would encourage people not to spend money away from here, but “to look inward for things to do.”
Now open, anyone may use the Pine Mountain Adventure Trail.
For more information, you may call 606-573-2600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.