HOMETOWN HERO: SW KyMBA creates trail for hikers and mountain bikers

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SCOTTSVILLE, Ky. (WBKO) -- A new trail for hiking and mountain biking has been created at the Port Oliver Recreation Area at Barren River Lake State Park. The project has been in the works for more than a year.

"Whenever Port Oliver was built a mountain bike/ hike trail was in the master plan," says U.S. Army Corps Engineer and Park Ranger, Daniel Taylor.

The Southwest Kentucky Mountain Bike Association (SW KyMBA) has been leading the way on the project, mapping out the trail and bringing it to life.

"We've got about 1,800 hours of volunteer labor involved," says Chip Winger, with SW KyMBA.

Now, it's time to get the Twisted Oliver Trail -- named for its unique turns and features -- open to the public.

"Just their overall excitement as volunteers makes you want to do everything you can to keep that excitement going," says Taylor.

"I still have trouble at night sleeping. When you get a project finished and have so much time invested in it and it turns out even better than you thought it would. I'm very excited," adds Winger.

Taylor says it's been a community effort to get the trail completed. He says SW KyMBA, Friends of Barren River Lake and Park, Great Onyx Job Corps, Allen County JROTC, and Eagle Scouts Michael Cropper and Hayden Johnson have all contributed to the project.

Taylor goes on to say, "It's really cool because they'll put in just say, 500 feet of trail in a couple Saturdays and while they're building it, you've already got a guy hopping on a bike saying 'oh that jump right there is really cool' or 'we could add a neat feature here.'"

SW KyMBA members say it's all a labor of love.

"I do what I do because it's a passion. When I started riding mountain bikes I weighed a little bit more and was playing with some health issues, with blood pressure and stuff, and it cleared it all up and just made life so much better, so I wanted to share that," Winger tells 13 News.

He says he not only wants to share the physcial benefits of exercise and biking, but also the mental benefits of relaxing and spending time outside.

"We want to see this area become a mountain bike haven where people can come from all over because they know they'll have five or six trails to ride," he adds.

From every volunteer, to the physical work put in, and the hours of planning and constructing the three and a half mile trail, we honor the volunteers of SW KyMBA as this week's Hughes and Coleman Hometown Heroes.

"It was just an overall great volunteer effort," says Taylor.

He says this is just the beginning for more projects planned in the area, and describes a 140 acre site close to the State Park, where he says "that will probably be a future project that will bring a 10-15 mile mountain bike and hike trail to that area as well."

Twisted Oliver Trail is located at 4171 Barren River Dam Road in Scottsville at the Port Oliver Recreation Area.

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