Backers aim to connect communities on Tennessee River trail
FLORENCE, Ala. (AP) — Tourism officials in northwest Alabama say they hope the Tennessee RiverLine project happens soon.
The Tennessee RiverLine is a planned system of trails along the Tennessee River from Knoxville, Tennessee, to Paducah Kentucky, The TimesDaily reported. The proposed trail would provide access points for people kayaking or canoeing the river.
The main goals of the project include connecting communities to each other and creating economic investment in each area, said Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area Director Carrie Barske Crawford.
“It’s about making our community more friendly to river travelers while connecting to other cities,” Crawford said at a recent meeting of the Florence-Lauderdale Tourism Board.
In the Shoals region of northwest Alabama, students at the University of North Alabama are helping to come up with ways the region can tie into the trail.
“One of the main goals at the Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area is to seek out opportunities and projects that enhance the educational experience of students at UNA,” Crawford said in a news release. “The Tennessee RiverLine project will engage students across campus as we move forward with mapping potential trail locations, creating interpretive signage about the history of our region to be placed along the trail, and developing outdoor recreation programs related to the RiverLine.”
Students in the outdoor recreation, public history and geography programs are a few who may benefit from this experience, Crawford said.
The Shoals is among five Tennessee River “pilot” communities working to create the continuous regional trail system. Others are Roane County, Tennessee; Bridgeport, Alabama; Benton County, Tennessee; and Paducah-McCraken County, Kentucky.