$2.4m grant for Kentucky forest’s horse riding trails a “game-changer”

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Kentucky's Daniel Boone National Forest will benefit from a $US2.4 million grant that will enable upgrades to horse riding and non-motorised trails.
File image by sniggie

Kentucky’s Daniel Boone National Forest will benefit from a $US2.4 million grant that will enable upgrades to horse riding and non-motorised trails.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has made the grant to improve the motorised and non-motorised trails and trail programmes over the forest’s 708,000 acres. The funds will be spent over several years.

The Daniel Boone National Forest, under the management of the US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, oversees a trail system that connects recreation opportunities, natural resources, and communities in Eastern Kentucky.

Matt Able, Assistant National Trail Program Manager said the service managed more than 600 miles of trails that start at the Tennessee border and continue up to just north of Interstate 64.

“There is a ton of ground to cover, both literally and figuratively, when it comes to maintaining, updating, and improving our trail system.

“But, this grant is a total game-changer – with these funds, we can bring some big and much-needed changes to the Forest sooner rather than later,” Able said.

Since receiving grant funds in late 2020, the forest has brought on four temporary employees to lead motorised and non-motorised trail projects. Their work has ranged from much-needed updates to specific areas, such as constructing new stone steps for a section of the Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail, to large-scale renovations, like clearing debris from miles of the Redbird Crest OHV Trail or relocating several sections of important trails.

“Not only have our new folks completed quality trail work on their own but they have also upped our overall capacity,” Able said.

“By working with partners and supervising volunteer and service crews, they’ve helped us get boots on the ground on over 400 miles of trail this year.”

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