The Bell County Fiscal Court recently received a a grant from Yamaha Motor Corporation in the amount of $12,500. The grant will be used for trail work on the Wilderness Trail Off-Road Park (WTOP) as well as some roadside signage.
The trail work will include the connecting of several old trails on the park that are currently dead-ends, as well as the possibility of creating some entirely new trails. The grant will also help to alleviate one of the biggest drawbacks of the park, which is the lack of more wooded and challenging trails, according to Jon Grace, Adventure Tourism Director.
“Getting this grant is big for the park. If you’re an ATV rider or any kind of trail enthusiast, you know that one of the most depressing things is having a trail dead-end, causing you to have to back-track,” said Grace. “We have a lot of great trails on the park that dead-end due to washouts caused by heavy rains or mud slides or whatnot…this grant will enable us to connect these old trails that currently dead-end.”
The trail work will begin this summer and is estimated to be completed by early fall. The official grand opening of the new trails will be at the fourth annual Holler Crawler Haunted Forest Ride on Oct. 19-21.
The grant will be executed by the Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College Workforce Solutions Program. It will be overseen by the Bell County Fiscal Court.
“In today’s world of financial cut backs, grants like this are big, especially when it comes from a company like Yamaha who is known as leaders in their industry,” said Bell County Judge-Executive Albey Brock. “This project will fulfill two very important needs that need to be addressed on the ATV park: the creation of more trails and the addition of new roadside signage to make the park easy to find for all its visitors. We at the fiscal court are very appreciative of Yamaha’s generosity and we look forward to making these improvements to the park.”
WTOP has over 100 miles of trails, ponds to fish in, as well as primitive camping free of charge. It is a place not only for ATV riders, but also horseback riders, nature and wildlife photographers, anglers, and people who enjoy the great outdoors coupled with great scenery.
Grace expressed his appreciation to Asher Land and Mineral, Brock and the fiscal court, as well as the Holler Crawlers for their work on the project.
“Without all of them working so well together, none of this is possible,” said Grace.