Brushy Fork Annual Institute

Becoming a Kentucky Trail Town

Track Leaders: Elaine Wilson & Seth Wheat

In every region of Kentucky, significant natural resources are intertwined with quaint, picturesque communities rich with opportunity for tourism development. Your town can benefit from these vast resources by providing outdoor adventure seekers connections to and from land and water trails as well as access to essential services and supplies.

In addition to enjoying outdoor adventure, trail users want to shop, take in theatrical and musical performances, purchase Kentucky Crafted souvenirs, enjoy local foods, stay overnight, and visit other area attractions. By connecting and networking these resources, your town can become a certified Trail Town community.

Join Elaine Wilson, Seth Wheat, and other state resource personnel in navigating the Kentucky Trail Town process and learning what it takes to become an outdoor adventure destination. Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing and footwear as we will be outside at times.

Who Should Attend?

  • Members of tourist commissions, Chambers of Commerce, or economic development organizations
  • Local officials
  • Community planners and advocates
  • Trail and outdoor enthusiasts
  • Land managers

Take-aways include:

  • A thorough understanding of the Kentucky Trail Town program and certification process
  • A Kentucky Trail Town Workbook
  • Strategies for effective committee management with community partners
  • Resources identifying funding opportunities and partner agencies that can assist your Trail Town efforts
  • Resources identifying the economic potential of outdoor recreation and tourism

Track Capacity: 25

Elaine Wilson serves as executive director for the Office of Adventure Tourism in the Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. She was born in Harrodsburg, raised in Lexington, and currently lives near Bernheim Forest in Bullitt County. Wilson has more than twenty years of experience in the tourism industry, including leading the Outdoor Adventure initiative for the Commonwealth of Kentucky over the last four and a half years. She has also spent more than forty years as an outdoor enthusiast, and her background and personal love of outdoor adventure provides valuable insight into what outdoor travelers look for and expect.

Seth Wheat serves as assistant director for the Office of Adventure Tourism for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. In this role he has assisted with development of the Adventure Tourism website, social media, and various media campaigns and online promotions. He also assists the Executive Director in supporting communities throughout Kentucky in their pursuit of securing Kentucky Trail Town designation. Seth enjoys a number of outdoor recreational activities, including hunting, fishing, hiking, paddling, and camping. Prior to joining the Office of Adventure Tourism, Seth studied political science at Georgetown College.

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