PAINTSVILLE – Johnson County will host an event focused on promoting the area’s potential for adventure tourism on June 19, which will also include an ATV parade through Paintsville ending with a ‘demo’ event on Main Street , according to a statement from the Paintsville County Off-Road Association / Johnson County Trail Town Committee, which said the event was intended to raise awareness of upcoming ATV trails in the county.
The parade will feature a police escort, according to Trail Town Catalyst Lara Pack, and will begin from 6 p.m. unloading in the old K-Mart parking lot on Ky. Rt. 321 and down the road heading south and downhill. crossing the Veterans Memorial Bridge to its arrival point on Main Street, where ATVs will be set up for a “Show Off” event until 8 pm.
“(ATV and Bikers side by side) can visit with other bikers in the community, share trails, show off their vehicles, enjoy live music provided by Paintsville Tourism and food vendors as well as a pop-up market , ”said Pack, detailing the characteristics of the event.
Pack said she was excited about the event, especially given the growing popularity of rural areas and outdoor activities and adventure tourism.
“Here’s the exciting thing – it’s the icebreaker, the tidal reversal. It’s the thing that lets the community know that it’s not just a dream, although it’s a dream, but it ‘is something that is preparing to become a reality, “Pack said.” The reason is that a lot of behind-the-scenes work and planning had to be done to make it a reality. This event is the thing that announces to the public that it is a reality. “
The idea, Pack said, is that there are currently nine voting counties in eastern Kentucky that are part of the First Frontier Appalachian Trails plan, and that these ATV trails, which are known to many locals but are in being professionally surveyed and mapped – with two new positions recently filled by the Kentucky Mountain Regional Recreation Authority to perform these functions as well as to secure leases from landowners. Thanks to these recent developments, Pack said, ATV trails in Johnson County are expected to be a reality as early as summer 2022 by integrating the many unofficial trails already in use in the county.
“We are now at the stage where the authority has hired an executive director and two land and mapping officers,” Pack said. “Their job will be to look at our unofficial trails and officially map them and get land leases so that we can officially market them. We have hired two people who collectively have almost 60 years of experience in navigation, mapping and securing land leases, so they are not newbies. These two men know what they’re doing.
Pack said one of the parade’s goals was to challenge the perception that mountain biking was only a pastime for young people who participate in dangerous activities, damage the ecosystem and behave recklessly. .
“They’ve invested a lot of money in the equipment they use to keep these businesses going, we’re talking about people who have invested tens of thousands of dollars in that equipment, they’re not looking to damage people’s land., they’re not looking to throw things away, they’re using expensive gear that they bought and insured for these outdoor adventures, ”Pack said.“ They are responsible adults. By the nature of what they do, they are good stewards of nature, they want to enjoy the pristine views and howling trails and the experience of being free in the hills that we all enjoy. “
Pack said the economic impact of creating an off-road trail destination cannot be underestimated and could create a local economy and spawn entrepreneurs, taxes and more which would benefit our county and the counties around us.
“The industry is full of people with disposable income, who spend that income responsibly and plan family vacations that last an average of four to seven days, so if you have a family of people, or multiple families, in your region, the economic impact of this is a very good capture of dollars for our community, ”Pack said.
All locals who love the trails and have ATVs and off-road equipment are welcome to attend and participate in the parade and show as well as all visitors from outside the region – as well as to enjoy the myriad of other activities available as part of the Trail Days earlier in the day, edible trail hikes, yoga, kayaking, biking, horse trails and too many features to name, starting early on morning of this Saturday June 19 to come.
“This is the highlight event for Trail Town that day, and it’s the Johnson County Off-Road Association, which is the part of Trail Town that deals with ATVs, and we want everyone to get out there. , if you have an four-wheeler, an off-road motorcycle, a side-to-side, whatever you use to enjoy the off-road trails in the hills of Johnson County, ”Pack said.“ Get out, bring this on. equipment and use this event as an icebreaker to normalize what we see as our future. “
For more information, visit the Johnson County Trail Day 2021 Facebook page by searching for it by name to see all the free opportunities available to any outdoor enthusiast, including a historic Paintsville walking tour and walking tour. story curated by Johnson County. Public Library, a downtown mini-market hosted by Paintsville Tourism at Pavilion 404 downtown, a screening of Trail Magic: The Grandma Gatewood Story at the historic SIPP Theater, a horseback ride on the Paintsville Lake Trail, and many other events planned to create an all day track experience.