For Immediate Release
October 8, 2019
The Plains, Ohio — The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has announced the award of $1.2 million to support development of the Baileys Trail System on the Wayne National Forest, provide branding and marketing assistance geared towards increasing tourism to the region, and training opportunities for local businesses and communities to help position southeast Ohio as a destination for mountain bikers, trail runners, and outdoor enthusiasts.
Rural Action is leading the project and will be working with other organizations, including the Wayne National Forest (WNF), the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks (ACEnet), Ohio Hill Country Heritage Area, Buckeye Trail Association, Hocking-Athens-Perry Community Action, and the Greater Appalachian Valley Conservation Corps. The project is titled Asset-Based Entrepreneurship: Trails, Towns, and Tourism in the Appalachian Ohio Economy.
Project partners will build trailhead amenities to spark and support entrepreneurial opportunities, develop branding and marketing to reach the 16 million people who live within 150 miles of the trail system, and promote collaborative branding urging visitors to get out into the local communities when they visit. The team will provide entrepreneurial support, sector-based training, workforce development, and intensive technical assistance to local individuals, businesses and communities, in addition to providing $250,000 for trail construction on the WNF and on the Buckeye Trail.