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Royalton set to become tourism hub

A meeting was held Wednesday April 4th at South Magoffin Elementary School by the Big Sandy ADD Board to inform the public about the plans for development around the Dawkins RT. Denise Thomas with the Big Sandy ADD hosted the meeting to update the public on the status of the plans for development in the Ronald Reed bottom.

She was assisted by Sandy Runyon from US Representative Hal Rogers’ office. A detailed engineers drawing was presented so that the public could visualize more clearly the intended development. Plans include 7 cabins, 21 horse stables, and camping pads both small and large. Male and female restrooms, bath houses, laundry, event stage, areas for primitive camping and parking areas. Also shown were some planned future developments. 

The Royalton Trail Town Committee under the leadership of Victoria Doucette has received a $1.9 million development grant for the project. Denise Thomas explained the timeline for development of the facilities and how the process would proceed. She and Ms. Runyon answered questions from the audience and did an excellent job of explaining the various features of the development. The meeting was well attended by informed citizens who are to be commended for their interest in the future of adventure tourism in Eastern Kentucky. Everyone was most attentive to the plans and many great questions were asked by the audience. This shows that our citizens are truly interested in the future of Eastern Kentucky. When this development is completed it will make Royalton the hub of the Dawkins Line Rail Trail and that fact alone positions Royalton to become a crowning jewel in Kentucky’s developing tourism industry. 

Magoffin County residents should be thankful for the efforts of the Royalton group and Ms. Doucette for the hard work they have put into seeing that Royalton and the Dawkins Rail Trail reach their full potential. Most people who have never been involved as a volunteer in steering a project such as this don’t realize the amount of time, money and stress that volunteer leaders go through to spearhead such projects. Being intimately involved with the development of our new Civil War Park at Half-Mountain, I fully understand the amount of work, time and sweat that the Royalton group have put into this project.

Contrary to some people’s opinion, volunteers do not receive any compensation or monetary gain from their work to bring these projects to fruition. I would point out that the leaders of these volunteer efforts pay out of pocket the expenses involved with the development and promotion of the project. Magoffin County has been the benefactor of citizens willing to step forward to lead us into the future. I personally on behalf of myself and Magoffin County abundantly thank the Big Sandy ADD, Denise Thomas, Sandy Runyon, and Hal Rogers for all they have done to insure that our county has a bright future.




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