Investing in a unified trail system

A unified trails system connecting multiple communities can have a substantial impact on a region, both physically and fiscally.

It doesn’t take a doctor to realize the benefits that come with walking, running and cycling. Kentucky specifically could use a stimulus to get people off the couch and exercising, as the Commonwealth was 12th in obesity rankings by state in 2014 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

From a fiscal standpoint, trail systems have been proven through multiple studies to have a positive effect on economic development in communities where they exist.

With these factors in mind, the Glasgow Daily Times supports the ongoing Cave Region Trails Initiative. Backed by a National Park Service grant, a steering committee has been formed to head the effort, which would connect 11 communities in Barren, Edmonson, Hart and Warren counties, along with two state parks and Mammoth Cave National Park.

What an exciting development for south central Kentucky. If the plan comes to fruition, imagine the impact such a trails system could have on tourism, business and health in our communities?

With Funtown Mountain boarded up and closed, Cave City could use a new feature to draw visitors to the community. Beyond economic and health benefits, trails help people experience nature and communicate with one another face-to-face instead of via a computer or cellphone.

Cave City and Munfordville are moving forward with Trail Town applications, the initiative’s steering committee is taking steps to complete a Greenway and Blueway Trail Master Plan, and other cities in the region like Bowling Green are getting behind the push to see the dream become a reality.

The initial backing for the project may be the easy part. Eventually, it will likely take funding at the local level to complete the trails initiative.

If and when that time comes, we hope the support will continue to be there from our local governing bodies, and that our community will acknowledge the importance of having a vibrant trails system.

From recreational enjoyment to economic development, we believe the trails initiative can widen the path for south central Kentucky and help support our residents and existing businesses.

Glasgow Daily Times

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