$6 Million Grant for Bike Trials in Cocke County

A $6 million federal grant will help build 50 to 75 miles of mountain bike trails in East Tennessee.

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander says the money from the Appalachian Regional Commission aims to encourage more people who visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park to come through Cocke County, one of the most economically distressed counties in the state.

“This is a huge investment from ARC. Cocke County is one of the most economically distressed counties in Tennessee and this investment will help increase the tourism industry in Cocke County by bringing more of the 12 million visitors who come to Smokies each year and the 3 million visitors who come to the Cherokee National Forest each year to the area,” Alexander said.

The new bike trails are in the Cherokee National Forest. Alexander says officials are also moving ahead with mountain bike trails on the Foothills Parkway right-of-way in Sevier County. Alexander, Gov. Bill Lee and other officials announced the grant Monday in Hartford TN.

“The great outdoors are one of Tennessee’s largest drivers of economic growth and draw millions of visitors every year. Thanks to this significant grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission, Cocke County will attract even more visitors and the economic activity they bring,” Governor Lee said“I’m grateful to the ARC and to Senator Alexander for his leadership in securing this welcome investment for Tennessee.”

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