Yager praises new trail as economic development tool

(NASHVILLE, TN), June 20, 2012 — State Senator Ken Yager (R-Harriman) joined Department of Tourist Development Commissioner Susan Whitaker, Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer and a host of state and local officials today to launch the Tennessee’s newest trail and by-way called the Top Secret:  Proton Beams to Utopian Dreams Trail.  Developed in cooperation with the Department of Economic and Community Development, state officials partnered with Anderson, Campbell, Clay, Fentress, Knox, Morgan, Overton, Pickett, Roane, and Scott Counties, as well as Knoxville, Oak Ridge and Rugby, Tennessee to map a trail of attractions to bring tourists to some of East Tennessee’s most unique tourist sites.

The trail was unveiled as part of the 10th annual Secret City Festival in Oak Ridge.

“This trail runs right through the middle of the 12th senatorial district which I represent and does exactly what I have been pushing for over the last four years, works to bring more jobs to our counties through tourist development,” said Yager.  “The counties in this region have so much to offer tourists who want to experience Tennessee’s most beautiful landscapes, great restaurants and interesting history.  This effort is exactly what we need in our push to develop this potential.  I am thrilled that it has been completed.”

The 15th of 16 self-guided driving tours in the Discover Tennessee Trails & Byways program, the trail showcases the region’s history, culture, music and cuisine.  The Top Secret Trail allows travelers to explore through Middle and East Tennessee, touring fascinating towns, from the “Secret City” of Oak Ridge and its atomic mysteries to utopian towns such as Harriman, “the town that temperance built” and Rugby, one of the most authentically preserved historic villages in America.

Visitors can also celebrate Tennessee history makers by visiting the Cordell Hull Birthplace State Park, where they’ll find a replica of Nobel Peace Prize winner and former U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull’s log cabin, or the Sergeant Alvin C. York Historic Park, dedicated to one of the most decorated war heroes of World War I.

“Much more can be done to develop tourism within our state’s rural areas as a way of developing economic potential,” added Yager. “At the same time if showcases Tennessee life in a way that many tourists would not experience otherwise.  I look forward to seeing the potential this effort has to create opportunities for many rural Tennessee counties and its citizens!”

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