Progress is being made on the recreational trail, located behind the Putney Ranger Station and across from Shriners Fairground in Putney.
Harlan County Fiscal Court purchased the acreage around the Putney Ranger Station from the state for $17,000. After taking steps to preserve the Putney Ranger Station, the next step was to develop the recreational trail.
“What we want from the trail is to showcase the beauty of Pine Mountain,” said Harlan County Judge-Executive Joe Grieshop.
There will be approximately four miles of trail behind the ranger station. There will also be a two-mile connector trail, which will give you access to 12 miles of the Little Shepard Trail. The Little Shepard Trail will then give you access to Kingdom Come State Park.
“From the Putney Ranger Station trail you can see some beautiful terrain,” said Grieshop. “This trail will help tie together all of the other potential trails in the area. It expands the possibilities for horseback riding, mountain biking and hiking.”
The trail system is a non-motorized trail. Only horseback riding, mountain biking and hiking are allowed.
Hosting many unique natural structures along the trail, the area features rock formations, cliff lines and over hangs. The trail has been cautiously constructed so not to take away from the mountains natural beauty.
“We need to make use of our assets in Harlan County,” said Grieshop. “We also need to protect and preserve those assets. Not only will it help tourism, but it will make it more livable for our citizens. Everyone wants to live in a place that is beautiful, preserved and has a lot of things happening.”
Partnered with the county in both the restoration of Putney Ranger Station and the development of the recreational trail are a private family and the Kentucky Division of Forestry.
“It is safe to say that the project would not have come to fruition if it hadn’t been for us working with the forestry department. I’m thankful for them and their cooperation,” said Harlan County Economic Development Director Tony Felsoi.