The Green River is hard to miss. But western Kentucky residents and officials say they’re missing out on attracting tourists to the water way. A new effort is underway to bring more attention and more tourists to the nearly 400 mile long river.
“I’ve enjoyed living down here all these years,” says Tom Newcom of Livermore. For 36 years, he’s seen a lot of activities by his home along the Green River.
“The boat races, especially, the Riverfest, the car show and all, It turns out pretty good,” he says.
He says there’s more to do here now than before, but some say too many people are missing a good opportunity.
“A lot of people don’t realize how important the Green River is and what kind of use they can have of it,” says Rodney Kirtley of the Barren River Area Development District. Western Kentucky officials are working on the Green River Blueway Water Trail, running from Lincoln to Henderson County. Kirtley says it’ll promote recreational use, and give boaters and kayakers better information.
“Right now, you put a kayak in somewhere, and you don’t know if you got an hour or seven hours to take out,” he says.
Similar projects have boosted tourism at places like the Chattooga river in Georgia. Organizers hope it brings more attention and visitors to the Green River.
“That’s where we have a great opportunity and get the bigger message out that there’s a resource close at hand, and the great opportunities if you happen to be canoeing, or kayaking, or a power boater,” says Livermore Mayor John “Sonny” Renfrow.
“Eventually, I believe it will get a whole lot better,” Newcom adds.
Kirtley says the trail is still a work in progress and that it could be done as soon as next year.