TELLICO PLAINS – A special recognition is coming this weekend for a small community that is a gateway to the Cherokee National Forest.
Tellico Plains will be designated as a “Trail Town” by the Benton Mackaye Trail Association and the Southeastern Foot Trails Coalition. Richard Harris, who serves on the boards of both groups, said some 300 miles of trails are adjacent to Tellico Plains.
“It’s an ideal, small mountain community that really prospers from all of the hikers that come in,” he said. “So we’re designating them as a ‘Trail Town,’ which means that we provide certain services to people that are coming into the community to go hiking and backpacking.”
The services include creation of a website that lists all the amenities hikers might need - from local attractions and lodging to restaurants and retail.
Harris said the idea of “Trail Town” designations is to spread the word and welcome folks to these areas.
“We’re looking for the communities to prosper financially,” he said, “so that it will attract in more hikers and backpackers to their local communities.”
Along with officially announcing the designation, this weekend’s celebration will include hiking, snorkeling, music and food.
Tellico Plains is the second community to be honored as a Trail Town. The first was the community of Blue Ridge in northern Georgia.
More information is online at tellico-plains.com.