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Trail Town Certification Wednesday

On Wednesday July 8, McCreary County will welcome Kentucky’s First Lady, Jane Beshear, along with other state leaders, for the official certification of historic Stearns as the newest Kentucky Trail Town.

The Stearns Trail Town certification is scheduled for Wednesday July 8 at 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time at the Stearns trailhead and gazebo, located at the junction of KY Highway 92 West and KY Highway 1651 in Stearns.  Following the certification, a reception, with refreshments, will be held at the Big South Fork Scenic Railway train depot on Henderson Street in Stearns.  The public, and especially all McCreary Countians, are encouraged to attend and show support for Kentucky’s newest Trail Town.  Visitors are asked to RSVP by Friday July 3 by emailing or calling 606-376-3008.

It has taken several years of hard work on the part of community leaders and volunteers to finally obtain Trail Town certification for Stearns.  By working together, individuals, organizations, and government officials developed an action plan and followed a specific process to achieve the designation for Stearns.

Trail Town designation can mean big things for certified communities. Trail Towns have eligibility for matching funds for marketing from the state and will be featured on state maps, visitor’s guides, Kentucky’s Adventure Tourism website and other state marketing materials.

The Trail Town certification recognizes the 319 mile long Sheltowee Trace National Trail, which runs from Morehead, KY into Tennessee, as the main trail for the Stearns Trail Town certification. Crossing through fifty-four miles of the Daniel Boone National Forest (DBNF) and the Big South Fork River and Recreation Area in McCreary County, the Sheltowee offers an abundance of opportunities for cultural and historical awareness as well as trail activities such as hiking, horseback riding, ATV riding, mountain biking, and geocaching.  The main hiking link from Stearns to the Sheltowee is via the DBNF Lick Creek Trailhead with other connections to the Sheltowee throughout the County.  Railway connections to the Sheltowee from Stearns are by train to Blue Heron and by the K & T Heritage Trail utilizing the old K & T line to Yamacraw.

The Kentucky Trail Town program was established by KY Governor Beshear to promote communities that are strategically located to be hubs for trail activities and outdoor recreation.  Four Kentucky communities (Livingston, Olive Hill, Dawson Springs, and Morehead) have already been designated as Trail Towns with Stearns and London, KY being added in July.

That same morning, London- Laurel County will be certified as well, becoming Kentucky’s fifth Trail Town.

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