BSF tourism generates $16 million in economic benefit

A study reveals that tourism to the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area generates $16 million in economic benefit for surrounding communities:

A new National Park Service report shows that 565,063 visitors to Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area in 2013 spent $16.3 million in communities near the park . That spending supported more than 200 jobs in the local area.

“The Big South Fork is proud to welcome visitors from across the country and around the world,” said Superintendent Niki Stephanie Nicholas. “We are delighted to share the stories of this place and the experiences available and to use the park as a way to introduce our visitors to this part of the country and all that it offers.  National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy – returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service – and it’s a big factor in our local economy as well.  We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities.”

Honey Creek named one of America’s top 20 hiking trails

It happened without much fanfare, but back in April USA Today published an article naming the Big South Fork’s Honey Creek Loop Trail one of America’s top 20 hiking trails:

The Honey Creek Loop is the most challenging trail in the area, but it’s worth the effort. The trail offers a descent into a cliff-enclosed pool, an array of unique rock formations throughout and several creek crossings. For the short five and a half mile hike, experts say you’ll need at least an hour per mile and warn against going after a big storm, as the extra water could make this challenging trail nearly impossible.


Chesnutt, Tippin to rock Trails End

Trails End Campground announced today that country music icons Mark Chesnutt and Aaron Tippin will be in concert at the Ridin’ Dirty event Labor Day weekend.

Tippin will take the stage on Friday, Aug. 29. The 55-year-old burst onto the Nashville scene in 1990 with his Top 10 hi, “You’ve Got to Stand for Something,” the title track of his debut album. He followed that up with two more charting singles from the same album before recording his first No. 1 hit, “There Ain’t Nothing Wrong with the Radio,” the first single from his follow-up album, Read Between the Lines

Tippin would go on to release several more Top 10 singles — “Wouldn’t Have It Any Other Way,” “My Blue Angel,” and “Workin’ Man’s PhD” —before topping the charts again with “That’s as Close as I’ll Get to Loving You,” the firs single from Tool Box, in 1995.

Tippin topped the charts again with his smash single “Kiss This” in 2000, and took “Where the Stars and Stripes and the Eagle Fly” to No. 2 on the charts in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attack.

Last year, Tippin released “All in the Same Boat,” a single with Sammy Kershaw, who performed at Trails End over the Memorial Day weekend.

On Saturday, Chesnutt will take the stage at Ridin’ Dirty. The 50-year-old has eight No. 1 singles to his credit, beginning with “Brother Jukebox” in 1990. That song was a follow-up to “Too Cold at Home,” which hit No. 3 on the charts and was one of five Top 10 hits from his debut album by the same name. He followed “Brother Jukebox” with “Blake It on Texas,” which peaked at No. 5, “Our Love Is a Miracle,” which peaked at No. 3, and “Broken Promise Land,” which peaked at No. 10.

Chesnutt’s second single from his sophomore album, “I’ll Think of Something,” also went to No. 1 on the carts. That same album, Longnecks & Short Stories, produced four more Top 5 hits, including “All My Old Flames Have New Names” (No. 5), “Bubba Shot the Jukebox” (No. 4) and “Ol’ Country” (No. 4).

With plenty of early success under his belt, Chesnutt struck gold with his third album, Almost Goodbye, in 1993. The album produced three consecutive chart-topping singles, including “Sure Is Monday,” the title track and “I Just Wanted You to Know.” 

Other No. 1 hits by Chesnutt included “Gonna Get a Life” in 1995, “It’s a Little Too Late” in 1996 and “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” in 1998.

Train Fest is Saturday-Sunday!

Don’t forget! Norfolk-Southern’s steam-powered excursion train will visit Oneida again this Saturday and Sunday, May 31 and June 1, with the BSF Vintage Train Fest both days at Oneida City Park. Coverage from the Oneida Independent Herald:

Unlike March and last November, there will be some differences this weekend. For one, the train will be coming south instead of north. The first two trains visited from Chattanooga; this weekend’s starting point will be Lexington, Ky. For another, this weekend will feature two trips to Oneida — the train will visit on Saturday and Sunday instead of just Sunday. And, finally, this weekend’s trips will represent the largest excursion train yet. Nearly 600 passengers are expected to be aboard the train each day.