Installation of Bike Route Signage Begins on Kentucky’s Boone Trace with Middlesboro
From John Fox - President of Friends of Boone Trace -
The Daniel Boone Bike Trail has begun this week in Bell County at Middlesboro and Pineville. The installation of the signage will continue through the 10 counties and 15 communities along the route until completed later in the fall.
Ultimately USBR 21, a national bike route, will connect Cleveland, OH to Atlanta, GA. The southern portion of this 265-mile route connects Cumberland Gap National Historic Park at the edge of Tennessee to Middlesboro, Pineville, Barbourville, London, Livingston, Mt Vernon, Berea, Richmond, and Fort Boonesborough, in the heart of the Bluegrass Region. The route follows much of the “original Boone Trace”, the historic trail which Daniel Boone established in 1775. The northern portion of the bike route continues through Winchester, Millersburg, Carlisle, Blue Licks Battlefield State Park, and ends at the Ohio River at Maysville in Mason County, Kentucky.
Jim Grey, Kentucky’s Transportation Secretary said: "Kentucky is now ranked as one of the top five states with the most miles on the U.S. Bicycle Route System,” he added that: “By partnering with community members, the Cabinet has earned designation for both US Bike Routes 21 and 23, creating new north-south connections with its neighboring states. When we grow the U.S. Bicycle Route System, we’re giving residents and tourists alike greater access to a healthier transportation option.” With the official designation of two new U.S. Bicycle Routes, Kentucky now has a total of 856 miles of connected bicycle-friendly roads, ranking them fifth overall in a list of states with the most miles in the national network. USBR 23 connects the Cave Region of Kentucky from USBR 76 to the Tennessee border.
The 109-mile route travels through the small towns and historic sites of southwestern Kentucky and connects to Mammoth Cave National Park. Both new routes connect to U.S. Bicycle Route 76, “The TransAmerica Bike Route,” which was originally designated in 1982 and has been updated several times since, providing cyclists with multiple connected 500+ mile route options across the state of Kentucky from rural Crittenden County at the Ohio River to Elkhorn City in mountainous Pike County. All routes were designed to take advantage of low-traffic roads, allowing for a scenic and comfortable cross-state ride. The U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS) is a developing national network of officially recognized, numbered, and signed bicycle routes.
In Kentucky, US Bike Route 21 is named for the early explorer/frontiersman Daniel Boone. The Daniel Boone Bike Trail, traveling north from Tennessee, begins at the Cumberland Gap, Kentucky & ends 265 miles at the south-side of the Ohio River in Maysville, Kentucky.
• It spans 10 counties & 15 municipalities as it passes through the historic Cumberland Gap & follows the foothills of the Appalachia Mountains in Southeast Kentucky to the scenic rolling hills of the Bluegrass in Central Kentucky to the Ohio River.
• These 10 counties include: Bell, Knox, Laurel, Rockcastle, Madison, Clark, Bourbon, Nickolas, Robertson & Mason.
• The municipalities include Middlesboro, Pineville, Flat Lick, Barbourville, London, Livingston, Mt Vernon, Renfro Valley, Berea, Richmond, Fort Boonesborough, Winchester, Millersburg, Carlisle Blue Licks Battlefield State Park, & Maysville.
The Daniel Boone Trail According to Dr. John Fox, President of Friends of Boone Trace states that:
• “Over 70% of the tour, follows the unique, original path blazed by Daniel Boone & his party of 30 men/women who marked this route for thousands of immigrants who followed.
• The Boone Trace route is key to both the history of Kentucky & the United States because it was the ‘original Pathway to the West’ and has over 275 years of history. Friends of Boone Trace, Inc. 3 US BIKE ROUTE 21: THE DANIEL BOONE BIKE TRAIL
• Passage thorough the Cumberland Gap (a National Historic Park) & the Boone Trace served as the Ellis Island of the 18th & early 19th centuries with an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 immigrants traveling beyond the “Gap” into Kentucky.
• The route was extended to cover the entire state (south/north) to continue the story of Daniel Boone and his role as a founder of Kentucky.
The Daniel Boone Bike Trail, was created by Friends of Boone Trace, Inc. to engage the biking community of the nation to learn about and explore Southeastern, Central and Northern Kentucky with its rich Appalachian culture of 18th and 19th century history. It was designed as a collaborative effort with Berea College’s Entrepreneurial Program for the Public Good.
For additional information about The Daniel Boone Bike Trail, contact: John Fox, M.D. President, Friends of Boone Trace (859) 533-6433 Ira J. Bates, Ph.D. Technical Advisor (859) 985-7487