OHV trail possibly on the horizon

Published 10:52 am Friday, March 2, 2018

Bell County Tourism has been trying to spearhead an off highway vehicle (OHV) trail system that will run through not only Bell and Knox counties in Kentucky, but Claiborne and Campbell counties in Tennessee, as well.

As with any major venture of this kind, the process has been slow — but it has recently gained significant traction.

Director of Bell County Tourism, Jon Grace, recently provided an extensive proposal for the Corrigan OHV Trail. The trail will allow OHV access within the Corrigan Wildlife Management Area with oversight provided by either the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife or a trail authority appointed by the local government.

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The specific tract of land is 47,000 acres and, as mentioned, spreads across Bell and Knox counties in Kentucky.

The land is managed by a timber investment firm, Molpus Hardwoods, based out of Mississippi, and Bell County Tourism is currently in negotiations with them. There will be 300 miles of trails within the system — connecting to Tackett Creek Wildlife Management in Tennessee.

The potential for this trail is massive and could create a true destination for tourists.

Bell County Tourism has been working with area people involved in trail development, including Jim Jeffries, the city manager of Lafollette, Tennessee.

He stated, “The connection of the ATV trails between the states of Tennessee and Kentucky would benefit both states greatly economically. This connection would allow riders to ride their ATVs from one state to another, visiting different cities, motels, restaurants, etc. This connection would greatly enhance the ability of both states to draw in additional tourism dollars. With ATVs becoming the pasttime of so many people, the potential for rural development and economic growth for both states is tremendous. It’s a win-win for everybody.”

While the plans for the trail is still in negotiations, the project has seen its first promising boost in some time.