Now in its fourth year, the Licking Valley Adventures group has worked to promote Economic Development in the region through Adventure Tourism.
Nine counties including Bath, Bourbon, Bracken, Fleming, Harrison, Mason, Nicholas, Pendleton and Robertson have jointly promoted events, festivals, concerts, and information about places to visit, eat and stay on their website www.lickingvalleyadventures.org and their Facebook Page.
Rowan County is the most recent county to be asked to join.
Available this year is a nine-county map highlighting tourist destinations and unique places that visitors can eat, shop and stay available at any of the places featured on the map and at the County Chamber and/or tourism offices.
The actual Licking Valley Region follows the Licking River from its origins in Daniel Boone National Forest near Salyersville in Magoffin County, through Morgan, Menifee and Rowan counties before it hits the current counties.
At the June meeting the group voted to invite the remaining Licking Valley counties as well as the Red River Gorge counties of Powell and Wolfe to join the group to help lure more visitors and tourist dollars to the area. Tourism and travel contributed over $15 billion to Kentucky’s economy in 2017. Tourism in the state generated over $1.5 billion in tax revenues with $202 Million of that going to local communities.
“We’re very excited to have Rowan County join the group,” said Executive Director Tracy Pratt-Savage. “Rowan County will be our biggest county and has the most experience with Morehead being an official Trail Town. Joy Brown will be a great resource as well.”
Brown has served as the executive director for Morehead Tourism Commission for seven years having served as the Morehead Conference Center Manager for six years prior. She is a Morehead State University graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication and Journalism. She was a driving force in getting Morehead certified as the third Kentucky Trail Town and continues to serve as the Morehead Trail Town Task Force Chair. She has been an active member with the Kentucky Travel Industry Association and recently joined their board of directors.
This past spring, she served on the Kentucky Walk/Bike Strategic Planning Coalition. While Brown’s focus has shifted to helping people find their next adventure, she’s still an active member of the Meeting Professionals International - Kentucky Bluegrass Chapter.
Morehead and Rowan County along with Bath County are home to Cave Run Lake where visitors can enjoy jet-skiing, lazy days relaxing on a pontoon or boathouse, tubing and more. Cave Run Lake, combined with the adjoining Licking River, provides year-round opportunities for recreation, as well as beautiful camping areas.
As an official Kentucky Trail Town, Morehead and Rowan County have more than 100+ miles of trails – with the Sheltowee Trace NRT running right down Main Street. Plus, Daniel Boone National Forest, surrounding Cave Run Lake, is an amazing place to explore with miles of multi-purpose trails.
“We are all stronger communities together than apart. Morehead is beyond thrilled to be invited to the table to join the momentum of Licking Valley Adventures. We can’t wait to jump in and begin collaborating,” said Brown.
The member counties all have administrative rights to post events on Facebook. Each county pays dues of $500 per year and cities $250 per year which covers hosting fees for the website, a part-time administrator and travel expenses for the executive director. Bluegrass Area Development District provides web development for the group’s web site. They are also adding Instagram this summer. #LVAKentucky.
The Licking Valley Adventures Group meets every other month at their headquarters at Blue Licks Battle field Resort State Park in Robertson County at 11 a.m. on the second Tuesday of the month. Visitors are welcome. For information, check out their website or Facebook page.