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National Park Service selects The Warriors Path Project submitted by McKee Trail Town and Olive Hill Council for planning and restoration for project assistance

The National Park Service (NPS) Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program (RTCA) announced the selection of the Warrior’s Path project to receive expert consultation from the NPS.The Warriors Path will be built into an educationally interactive, multi-use trail network that will connect existing and proposed routes across Eastern Kentucky.

Co-Chair Max Hammond explains, “The project will leverage and benefit Kentucky Trail Towns, preserve and promote cultural and historic sites, and honor and celebrate the forgotten Appalachians, the first Appalachians, the Native Americans.”

Co-Chair Judy Schmitt said, “This project would include establishing an alliance involving 17 counties and many communities along the The Warrior’s Path to preserve the historic path and to obtain State and National Scenic Byway and National Historic and Heritage Trail Designations.” 

“This designation,” Schmitt continued, “would provide an economic boost to the hills of East Kentucky granting a new or enhanced traveler experience, opening up our recreational opportunities, and bringing new customers to our tourism businesses.”

The NPS RTCA has selected The Warrior’s Path project to receive expert consultation from the NPS to help spur local recreation, conservation and economic development opportunities.

The project as envisioned by McKee Trail Town and the Olive Hill Council for Planning and Restoration will be developed as a national historic trail and educational and cultural corridor that follows the Warrior’s Path through 17 eastern Kentucky counties. 

The goal, in partnership with the Kentucky Native American Heritage Commission and the NPS, is to preserve the remnants of the path, increase public awareness by seeking National Heritage and Scenic Trails designations, and expand outdoor recreation opportunities throughout the trail system. 

The final output of this project will be a master plan establishing motorized, bicycling, hiking, and horseback riding routes along the path while showcasing historic and cultural sites with signage and a digital guide. 

The partnership also seeks State and National Scenic Byway designation to further raise historical and cultural awareness of the Warrior’s Path while promoting economic development in the eastern Kentucky region through outdoor recreation tourism.

RTCA supports community-led natural resource conservation and outdoor recreation projects across the nation. 

RTCA’s national network of conservation and recreation planning professionals partner with community groups, nonprofits, tribes, and state and local governments to design trails and parks, conserve and improve access to rivers, protect special places, and create recreation opportunities. 

To learn how RTCA may support your community, please visit https://www.nps.gov/orgs/rtca/index.htm.

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