The Friends of the Tennessee Central Rail Trail working on a new branding plan to increase awareness about the trail.
Board Member Jamie Newman said the board met with the Tennessee Tech Center for Rural Innovation last week to begin the plan’s development. Newman said the focus is consistency in messaging from the group. Newman said the plan will create a sense of pride in the trail and connection between cities.
“If you live here, everyone will know that the Tennessee Central Trail is our trail,” Newman said. “It is something that our community can use and be proud of.”
Newman said part of the new brand will emphasize that the trail is not only for elite exercisers like serious bikers or marathon runners. People walking, pushing strollers, or even riding in wheeled chairs should feel comfortable and excited to use the trail, Newman said.
Newman said showing all that the trail has to offer is a great way to generate that interest. Newman said Tennessee Tech will create a logo for the group and verbiage to go along with it.
“We needed a fresh face,” Newman said. “A fresh group of folks with the guidance of the previous group that kind of started this to really get the ball rolling and work past the first development of the 4.23 miles.”
Newman said it is easy for people to get confused by having multiple different entities representing the trail. The group wants to set itself apart from the Central Trail Authority and create a distinction, Newman said. Newman also said the branding will allow the group to connect with grant writers who will be able to raise funds for projects that can improve the trail and generate tourism from across Tennessee and beyond.
“We just don’t see any reason we can’t be the next Virginia Creeper or a multitude of other trails that people are really using nowadays,” Newman said. “So the brand is going to help us get there. There’s no doubt. You need that brand. You need to invoke that feeling to get people excited about it and get them involved.”