By Eugenia Jones
McCreary Countians can look forward to enjoying a newly developed and easily accessible outdoor recreation area in the spring. With a new boat ramp already installed and paved road leading from the water, the Laurel Creek Reservoir is already seeing more use by those wishing to fish or boat (no gas powered boats allowed) and will soon be ready to welcome hikers, runners, and mountain bikers.
Trail work began in November with volunteers opening up the trail corridor and then going back in to complete trail work. Currently, there is approximately one mile of corridor open with ¼ of the trail built. Five volunteers completed ¼ mile of trail in approximately four hours. When completed, the trail will be just under three miles long. Obviously, more volunteers are needed to help complete the project as quickly as possible. Organizers anticipate the trail will open by April 1, 2019.
A trail bridge crossing the reservoir is being built by Parsons Construction of Lexington. Parsons is a small company specializing in trail work. Steel uprights are already in place, and workers are expected to string cable soon. The bridge is being paid for by a grant allotted specifically for trail work. The bridge is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year. Once the bridge is complete, the old reservoir dam can be accessed and cleared of small vegetation allowing work on benches and a fishing pier to begin just prior to spring.
Developers are hopeful a vaulted toilet can be installed at a future date.
Project organizer and lead volunteer, Andrew Powell, has established a non-profit organization to help manage the Laurel Creek Reservoir Recreation Area and other trails across McCreary County. Interested individuals can visit Boone’s Trail Militia on Facebook for more information. Powell plans on having trail work days twice a month until completion and encourages everyone to volunteer and help build a conveniently located recreation area with water access for McCreary Countians and tourists to enjoy.