The mission of the Appalachian Adventure Trail is to enhance the economic and cultural development of Appalachian Ohio through marketing and promotion of the area’s natural, historical, and cultural assets.
In the past, economic development initiatives in Appalachia have focused primarily on building infrastructure – highways, sewers, utilities, etc. These services were deemed essential foundational element needed to attract and retain new businesses, thereby creating more jobs and a higher standard of living for those living in rural and economically depressed regions of Appalachia.
More recently, this focus has shifted to a promising new area: tourism. The Appalachian Adventure Trail with its rich heritage was created in August 2006 with the intent of encouraging tourism in five of Appalachian Ohio’s “distressed” and “at risk” counties – Athens, Jackson, Meigs, Pike, and Vinton Counties.
With the help of Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), local leaders, tourism professionals, and local businesses and organizations, the Appalachian Adventure Trail was developed and continues to grow.