Kingsport Heritage Trail

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Be on the lookout for the ‘new’ Heritage Trail in Downtown Kingsport! The City of Kingsport has received grant funding to bring the Historical Heritage Trail back to life. Under Bill Albright’s direction, the City of Kingsport, with assistance from the Downtown Kingsport Association (DKA) Design Committee, is almost ready to unveil the newly designed trail signs along the path of our City’s rich heritage. The design services are being donated by Express Signs located in Downtown Kingsport.

The Heritage Trail, which began in 1998, included 16 original sites signs that gave a brief history of each building on the Trail. However, 5 of these signs were never created due to budget constraints. The recent grant has provided the opportunity to not only finish the additional 5 signs, but also to incorporate 6 additional sites into the Trail. We will also be repairing the sign posts and expanding the boundaries of the original Trail.

The Trail, a 1.8 mile walking and fitness path, will tie into the Greenbelt, enticing walkers, runners, and bikers to visit our beautiful Historical Downtown. As the Trail brochure points out, “Physicians recommend walking more often than any other fitness activity”. No area in our region is more walkable than Downtown Kingsport’s pedestrian-based design, so what better place to start walking than in the heart of our City. Also, with the highest concentration of businesses in our City, you can discover an enjoyably efficient way to complete many of your daily errands in Historic Downtown Kingsport. Whether you walk in the mornings, lunch time, or evenings, be sure to stop and mingle in the shops or enjoy a tall refreshing glass of ice tea and a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants in the Downtown area.

The Downtown Kingsport area represents a rich history, marking the beginning of Kingsport as we know it today. John Nolen, renowned town planner, designed Downtown Kingsport and its surroundings in the early 20th century. Downtown was the hub of activity for industries with residential areas strategically placed around it. Nolen called it his greatest accomplishment.

The Heritage Trail brochure includes a detailed map with descriptions of Downtown’s Kingsport’s history as the “Model City” and significant points of interest. The Trail begins at DKA’s office in the historic Gem Theatre on the corner of W. Main and Shelby Streets. So grab a brochure today and check out the rebirth of the Heritage Trail!