Tag Archives: Bikecentennial

Elkhorn City Trail Town: The Trans-America Bicycle Trail

Elkhorn City is located on one of the most famous and well traveled bicycle Trails in the United States.  

Lets take a bike ride on the Trans-America through Pike County!
The Trail comes into town form the Breaks Interstate Park on Highway 80 (Patty Loveless Drive) The Trail turns at the traffic light and follows Route 197 (West Russell Street to Elkhorn Creek Road)  to  Ashcamp and Route 195.  At Lookout the Trail goes across Poor Bottom Road up the mountain and down Chaney Creek Road to US 23.  The Trail then follow US 23 North to Penny Road at Virgie going across Abner Mountain into Floyd County at Wheelwright.
The Trail thru Eastern Kentucky

The Trail thru Eastern Kentucky

The TransAmerica Trail, also called U.S. Bicycle Route 76, was established by the Adventure Cycling Association for the celebration of the U.S. bicentennial in 1976. At that time, the organization was called Bikecentennial, a name many old-timers still associate with the TransAm Trail. This is still the greatest and most-travelled route crossing America.
The trail starts at the Atlantic Ocean in Yorktown Virginia and crosses Virginia, Kentucky, and the mid west before reaching the Pacific Ocean at Astoria Oregon. The route passes through the Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.
Because it takes little-traveled back roads, the route is longer and hillier than if you took the major roads. The route is 4,262 miles long, plus side trips and detours which could add several hundred more miles.
The Trail is noted for its focus on America’s heartland, scenic diversity, and historical interest.
The Kentucky section of this national trail is more than 600 miles long. It runs west to east though the center of the state from rural Crittenden County at the Ohio River to the mountainous Pike County.
A Map of the entire Transamerica Route across Kentucky can be found HERE!
Past post involving the Trans-America Bicycle Trail

Elkhorn City Trail Town: The Elkhorn City River Walk and The Blue Line Trail

This is the first post in a series  highlighting the Trails in and around Elkhorn City, Kentucky.

Mural Under the Cantrell Bridge by the Russell Fork

Mural Under the Cantrell Bridge by the Russell Fork

The Elkhorn City River Walk—also called The Blue Line Trail, referring to the City’s railroad past—was constructed by local residents and artists from all over the world. The theme of this scenic 15 minute walk is the protection of the natural environment that residents hold dear. The entire community—children, youth, adults, and retirees—worked together to revitalize their town.

Let’s take a walk.

The first stop is the (1) Red Caboose & Wm. Ramey Historical Marker and (2) Waterfront Park, a bird habitat with viewing decks above the Russell Fork River. An artist from Japan used stone from a local quarry and concrete to make (3) sculptural seating benches, behind the US Bank (4) The Nature Garden and Butterfly Habitat, designed by a California artist, contains native plants from the region. Ducks swim under the bridge and fish break the water surface as they feed.

Fishing, swimming, picnicking, sunbathing and inner-tubing area is part of a day’s play here at the Waterfront Park.


Don’t miss the (5) Children’s Mural with a child’s eye view of local nature as you head toward the Historic District via the (6) Walking Trestle Bridge across the river. Visit (7) the Railroad Museum on the other side and if you’re lucky talk to a retired railroad worker. Continue toward Main Street and the public library, a good source of family genealogy;  (8) the Old Bank Building; and (9) the Artists’ Collaborative Theatre with its seasonal schedule of plays. Nearby is the Daniel Boone Historical Marker.


Turn left and you are on Charles Cantrell Bridge, heading back to the Waterfront Park.

Next post will be on the 1976 Trans-America Bicycle Trail which travels through the heart of the downtown Elkhorn City running along West Russell Street and turning on Patti Loveless Drive running toward the Breaks Interstate Park


Come on EC Let’s hit the Trail! Elkhorn City: Kentucky Trail Town

On Thursday, June 14th, the Elkhorn City Council fielded a presentation from Elaine Wilson the Executive Director of the Kentucky  Office of  Adventure Tourism.   Ms. Wilson came speak to our town about Elkhorn City becoming a Kentucky Certified Trail town.    She spoke about the trail town concept and the many things the community can do to improve the experience of the trail user.   The topics ranged from improving signage to purchasing bike racks and from marketing to economic development.

Someone with resources, expertise in their field, and the potential to literally put our town on the map took time out of their schedule to come and tell us how blessed we are to have  the quality and caliber of trails we have in this town.

When we think about all the things our town is blessed with, from the towering mountains, to our proximity to the Breaks, to the river running through the center of downtown, it’s not often we think about the trails connecting our town to the world. Stretching back to the days the railroad brought prosperity to our town, we prospered because we are in a place that people enjoy coming to, or traveling through.

There are three primary trails that are connected to our town: the Pine Mountain Trail, the Trans-America 76 Bike Trail, and the Russell Fork River. Whether, hiking, biking, or kayaking our town connects you to three remarkable trail systems that offer exactly what you’re looking for in your area of recreation.   The Great Eastern Trail is also coming through town in the near future.

The Pine Mountain Trail currently offers 48 miles of virgin trail. Carved one mile at a time by volunteer labor, this expansive trail is planned to stretch from Elkhorn City to Jellico, Tennessee over 111 miles and inclusion in the Great Eastern Trail by its completion. Well blazed, and following the ridge of the expansive Pine Mountain, every couple of miles it feels like a brand new trail. The scenery always shifting from the top of the peaks rolling through dense woodland, past geologic oddities and historic sites every scene reinvigorates you with the sense of purpose that only distance hiking can offer. It’s seclusion at its finest, braving the wilderness with no civilization within 5 miles; every footstep becomes a reminder that only your determination and will power can see you through to the end.

The Transamerica 76 Bike Trail spans from coast to coast, and sees travelers of all kinds. From professional bikers to amateurs with a good cause, bikers flock from all over the world and pass through our town in the process. Just the count from the Rusty Fork regulars tallied 43 states and 17 countries in one year.

Finally, the Russell Fork River for all intents and purposes is a mecca for white water enthusiasts. One of the most technically challenging rivers in the world, with rapids rating as high as the scales go the Russell Fork is another worldwide draw that runs right through the heart of our business sector. Despite the difficulty of paddling through the Gorge, the river breaks down into three and a half sections that range from beginner status on the Lower Russell Fork from Ratliff Hole to Elkhorn, to intermediate on the Upper put-in at Flannigan dam, to world class from Garden Hole down.

Our town has gifts and natural amenities that allow us a sturdy foundation. Just the same as we built our homes upon them, we can also build industry. We can build our community, and we can share in the prosperity from them. Most of all, we can build our own future, and create the world we want to live in.

Here is a link to the slide presentation given by Ms Wilson

Here is a link to The Sheltowee Trace Association’s Trail Town information page

Check out the above links and you will see why Elkhorn City needs to become a Kentucky Trail Town.

Next post will be on the Trial Town process and how we get it done.

Here’s Your Sign … or Where are all the signs!

Today I met a  nice gentlemen named Andre’ from France.  He and his wife were biking across the United States along the Transamerica Trail.  They had stayed at the Breaks Interstate Park and made it into Elkhorn City about 11:00 a.m.  Every year I talk to numerous bicyclists who come through Elkhorn City along the trail.

My conversation with Andre’ was insightful for two reasons.  One, I enjoy talking to and meeting new people, especially form other countries, and two, Andre’ could not figure out why the TransAmerica Trail had good signage all along the route in Virginia, but as soon as he got into Kentucky there where no signs at all showing the route.
When the trail was first developed, in 1976, there was good signage all along the trial in Eastern Kentucky.  I can remember seeing the signs and I also remember bicyclists staying in the basement of the Elkhorn City Church of Christ.
This brought home to me the fact that we need to do more work to develop our adventure tourism infastructure in Kentucky.    Replacing the signs along the Kentucky section of the Transamerica Trail makes good sense.  It is the type of project that adds value to our tourism infastruture and would not be expensive to complete.  Governor Beasher has made a big push for adventure tourism, it seems to me  that replaces the signs along the Transamerica Trail is a no brainer.
If you feel  the same  way contact  the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and let them know we need to put up signs for our tourist who use the Transamerica Trail.
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet
Division of Multimodal Programs
125 Holmes Street, 3rd Floor
Frankfort, Kentucky 40622
The Transportation Cabinet has put out a nice pdf document on Bicycling in Kentucky and all the Bike Trials in the state you can find it HERE
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First Bicyclist of the Year in EC

Bikecentennial Trans-America Bicycle Trail, Lo...

Image via Wikipedia

The first transamerica trail bicyclist have made it into Elkhorn City.  I have been looking out for them all month.   Two fellows headed to San Francisco got into town late on March 30, 2011.  I also keep a count of the total that come thru town each year.  Last, year the count was  754.  I only count them if I see them so the total number has to be greater than 754.

Generally, we start seeing bicyclist around mid March of each year.  It also seems to coincide with the Bradford Pears blossoming each year.  The cyclist travel along the Trans America 1976 Bicycle trial which  was developed in 1976 to celebrate our country’s 200th birthday, or Bikecentennial. Since then, thousands of cyclists have ridden this 4,200 mile route between Virginia and Oregon along America’s back roads. The Trail is noted for its focus on America’s heartland, scenic diversity, and historical interest.

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