Lewis and Clark Trail Receives Auto Route Trail Signs
Jim Mallory, Vice Chairman of the Lewis and Clark Trust, appeared at the Newport Business Association's monthly luncheon Wednesday morning to talk about the goals of his organization, and present signs designating an auto route that follows the path of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.
The route follows the path originally taken by the explorers as they surveyed the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase. Currently, the 4,900-mile long Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail spans 16 states from Pittsburgh to the mouth of the Columbia River in Washington.
Mallory said that 1,200-miles were added to the auto tour route and Kentucky is the first state in the east to recognize the path since the expansion.
"The trail has many advantages and value," Mallory said. "It's a matter of the preservation of an American epic."
The auto route signs were left with Newport's Historic Preservation Officer Scott Clark and will be installed in Newport along KY8.
Mallory emphasized the tourism aspect of the Lewis and Clark trail. He said that tourism is a tool of education and education and preservation are the focuses of the trail. He also mentioned that Lewis and Clark's values while surveying the land were preservation, shared responsibilities, and pride of accomplishments.
"Those three values are as important today as they were in 1806 when [Lewis and Clark] returned east," Mallory said.
Mallory said that the importance of the trail really comes down to the importance of tourism as a tool of education.
"Newport and all of the Northern Communities have a rich history with tourism opportunities that can not be transported to a lower-cost economy anywhere in the world," he said. "The opportunities just need development. The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail has the ability to bring tourists from across the U.S., plus other countries to Newport and Northern Kentucky. The entire Ohio River is a corridor of Lewis and Clark history that can benefit tourism and education."
One tool Mallory offered to help develop tourism along the trail was the website www.lewisandclark.travel, which gives free resources to those who wish to plan a trip along the trail including artisanal shops, bed-and-breakfast inns, and culturally-rich experiences. Mallory invited business owners to join the website free of charge by simply registering with the website and providing pertinent content.
-Connor Wall, associate editor