In 2015, the City of Louisa began a campaign to rebrand the city as a tourism destination. The effort, titled ReDiscover Louisa, seeks to build upon existing assets and leverage their location on the Big Sandy River to expand tourism opportunities. Upon launching this campaign, the city began planning for a recreational trail complex that included the rehabilitation of local parks and the creation of a riverwalk connecting recreational areas of the city. Long-term goals are to connect with other cities and towns built along the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River to promote a regional river trail.
This project extends these efforts by highlighting the historical significance of a local landmark, the site of the first needle dam built in the United States. Project activities include the construction of an observation deck that overlooks the remnants of this 1896 dam accompanied by an informational kiosk. Project activities are implementations of a development plan resulting from previous ARC grant support. The city has applied for additional support through the Transportation Alternative Funding program to complete the construction of the riverwalk that will connect the Lockview Park Complex to a planned boat launch area. The lock and dam observation deck will serve as an historical point of interest along this trail.