The halfway point on this trail is about 10-15 miles northwest of Black Mountain.
The trail, which traverses the summit of Pine Mountain from Elkhorn City to Pineville, would become a linear state park, 120 miles long and 1,000 feet wide.
Mr. Patton said the legislation, if enacted, would protect a rare geological feature. He first proposed the plan in his State of the Commonwealth address in January and drew praise not just from local residents but from people across the nation who see the mountain as a place of refuge. Besides backpackers and hunters, writers flock here to reconnect with nature.
Scott Goebel, a poet from Decatur, Ill., said the variety of scenery on the mountain is astounding, including rock formations that appear to be from another part of the world.
Former President Clinton opened a trail along Pine Mountain to federal funds in 1999 when he designated it a Millennium Legacy Trail. That designation made the trail eligible for grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Mr. Patton said funding for developing the park would come from $1 million in federal grants and $600,000 from the Kentucky Land and Water Conservation Fund. That money would be used to begin mapping and acquiring land.
The park would stretch from Elkhorn City to Pineville and eventually connect with the 280-mile Cumberland Trail State Park being developed in Tennessee. About 30 percent of what would be Pine Mountain Trail State Park already is in public ownership as a state park, nature preserve, wildlife management area or national forest.
http://enquirer.com/editions/2002/02/11 ... ecome.html
PIKEVILLE -- If the proposed Pine Mountain Trail Act is approved by the state Senate this week, a sponsor says the new state-park bill will protect existing rock quarries on the mountain, while foes claim it also will forever protect existing quarry operators from competition.
The linear state park proposed by Gov. Paul Patton would run the length of the 125-mile-long mountain ridge across Eastern Kentucky, passing above five existing limestone quarries, some of which are 60 years old.
Pine Mountain contains no coal, but it is the region's only source for limestone aggregate, commonly used for road gravel and to make asphalt pavement.
Two of the five quarries are controlled by Mountain Enterprises Inc., a Lexington-based road builder that supplies nearly all the gravel and blacktop for Eastern Kentucky.