Skip to content

Public Comment Sought for Proposed Recreational Project at Reservoir

McCreary Countians now have the opportunity to review and comment on construction of a hiking and mountain biking trail looping around a portion of the Laurel Creek reservoir off Reservoir Road (County Rd. 6174) as proposed by the U. S. Forest Service through a Memorandum of Understanding with McCreary County Fiscal Court.

The proposed trail would be approximately 36 to 60 inches wide and 1.75 miles long (with approximately 1.25 miles on national forest.)  A 55 foot trail bridge would be constructed on the McCreary County Water District property to join the old dam with the road.

The trail is being proposed to offer additional recreational opportunities to residents and further satisfy the goals of the McCreary County community Trail Town.  Long used as an unofficial recreational area where locals enjoy fishing and canoeing, recent road improvements have made for easier access to the water.    In addition to construction of the proposed trail, there is future potential to improve access for non-gasoline powered boats, and to add picnic tables and restrooms in the area.  The reservoir will also continue to be managed as back-up potable water supply for the County.

Partners for the proposed project include McCreary County Fiscal Court, McCreary County Tourism, McCreary County Water District, Stearns Ranger District, Pine Knot Job Corps, and Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife.

McCreary County is responsible for the labor for the construction and maintenance of the trail, and if not maintained, the trail will be closed.  McCreary County Tourism is creating a trails volunteer team to address maintenance issues.

The District Ranger of the Stearns Ranger District, Daniel Boone National Forest, will decide whether or not to implement construction of the trail.  Comments from the public regarding the construction of the trail are currently being received.  District Ranger, Tim Reed, said a final decision about construction of the trail is expected by February.  If approved, construction of the trail could begin in the spring.  Reed said the Forest Service is excited about the possibility of working with the County in promoting recreational opportunities for residents and visitors to the area.

Individuals or organizations wishing to comment have been asked to do so between December 20, 2016 and January 17, 2017.  The following information should be included as part of comments:  name and address, title of proposed action (Laurel Creek Reservoir Trail), specific comments about the proposed action with information the District Ranger should consider in reaching a decision, signature or other verification of identify upon request.

Mail comments to:  Stearns Ranger District, 3320 Hwy 27 N. Whitley City, KY  42653.

FAX comments to 606-376-3734.

Send electronic comments to:

To submit comments orally by phone, call 606-376-5323 and identify the purpose of your call.  The receptionist will connect you with someone who will document comments.

To ensure comments are considered, comments must be received at the Stearns Ranger Station during normal business hours from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For additional information on the Laurel Creek Reservoir project, contact Laurie Smith at or by calling 606-376-5323.

Leave a Comment