Expanding our recreational opportunities

Published 8:18 am Wednesday, February 7, 2018

There has been a lot of discussion lately about expanding the recreational opportunities in Elizabethton and Carter County. The Carter County Parks and Recreation Board has discussed creating an extension to the Tweetsie Trail, both City and County boards have discussed opportunities for multi-sports facilities, and planners from across Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia have been discussing the development of a master plan for the Overmountain Victory Trail.

While the goal of Parks and Recreation Departments and Boards is to provide open-space and recreational opportunities for their citizens and not primarily tourism, many times we see others from outside the area interested in the recreational opportunities that are available in a nearby community and, therefore, travel to see and partake of these assets. The activities, programs, and facilities that the parks and recreation boards are discussing are no different. These are all very exciting opportunities!
The Overmountain Victory Trail is especially of interest because of its significance and the support it can draw. As many of you know, the Overmountain Victory Trail is the route that the Overmountain Men took from Washington County, Va., to Sycamore Shoals, and then on to King’s Mountain. Here they successfully defeated the British in a battle. This battle is commonly noted as the turning point in the Revolutionary War in favor of the Patriots.
This trail also brings with it National recognition, since it is a federally recognized park. With that comes additional funding from the Federal Government and national marketing helping to put Elizabethton on the map again and giving us a unique federal park through our county.
Developing and implementing these activities help build Elizabethton and Carter County’s asset base. It gives us something to be proud of, gives us something unique, and gives others the desire to discover more about Elizabethton and Carter County.
Uniqueness is the cornerstone of Tourism. People travel to see and experience something different, something they cannot find more locally near their home. As we continue to work on and develop unique assets in our cities and in our county, we will find more and more people wanting to discover and experience what we have to offer. What else can we be doing to welcome them and show them more of what makes us unique? Let’s talk about it!
(Jon Hartman is Director of Planning & Economic Development for the City of Elizabethton. He can be contacted at 542-1503 or by email at: jhartman@cityofelizabethton.org)

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