Clay County’s Director of Tourism said the region has an opportunity when it comes to Scenic Byway tourism.
Director of Tourism Beverly Murphy attended training last week at Paris Landing State Park. She said her biggest takeaway was that the region needed to do more to promote the Cumberland National Scenic Byway. She said the roadway spans multiple counties across the Upper Cumberland.
“It’s not just us in Clay County,” Murphy said. “It’s all of us that have so much to offer as a community on the Cumberland Byway, and I was just like this all needs to be recognized and brought forth again, because there’s so many people out there who travel these byways constantly.”
The highway begins near Cumberland Gap, extending through Fentress, Overton, Pickett and Clay Counties. The highway ends at the Cumberland River. Murphy said Upper Cumberland chambers and visitor centers should keep physical maps of the Upper Cumberland Byway for tourists. She said more signs marking historic places along the byway would also help.
“You know a lot of times we don’t have cell phone services on these roads and you can’t pull stuff up,” Murphy said. “They need to be able to see more about the markers, the confidence markers, we need more of those so they know they’re still on the right way, because its easy to get lost on some of these byways.”
Murphy said it needs to be well-known what Clay has to offer along the Cumberland Byway.
“We may not be that big town but as you are going to that big town this is an awesome place to come through and see and have a bite with us and do a few things,” Murphy said. “I just want them to know were here.”
Murphy said counties can come together to promote the Cumberland National Scenic Byway. She said that would benefit Clay County overall.
“We may be rural,” Murphy said. “We may be on the big list, we’re in red, but you know what it’s okay. We’ve been through a lot through this area. We’ve lost a lot, but with partnerships and everybody’s help, these people have pride, and there is ways to come out of this.”