With gas prices on the rise and the generally high levels of inflation currently assaulting our paychecks and wallets, no doubt many in our communities have seen their summer vacation plans altered or dashed as budgets tighten. While this is an unfortunate reality for many, it doesn’t have to spell the end for enjoying the warm weather and time off of school.
Sure, we might not be able to swing a couple of hundred extra dollars to drive to Myrtle Beach or Pigeon Forge, but recent years have seen massive improvements in local offerings, especially as it pertains to outdoor adventures. The development of Johnson County’s trail systems has come along swimmingly (pun intended) as one could easily paddle a kayak down the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River, ride a bicycle on the Dawkins Line Rail Trail or go for a hike on either the Kiwanis Trail or the P.L.A.N.E.T. Edible Trail at Paintsville Lake State Park or the Blanton Branch outdoor classroom trailhead, respectively.
There’s still fishing that can be done all around Johnson County with Paintsville Lake and its surrounding waterways and tributaries prime spots for hauling in a big fish, and according to East Kentucky Tournament Trail officials, Paintsville Lake is bustling with fish waiting for a hook.
If the outdoors aren’t your thing, there’s always live music at the Alley on Main, including performances from Sean Whiting on June 10, Kris Bentley and Friends on June 11, Wayne Graham and Buck the Taxidermist on June 17 and Johnny Pop Day on June 18, to name only a few, with Rachel Messer and Connor Dale playing on June 24 and Nicholas Jamerson and the Morning Jays on June 25. The Alley also has shows booked all throughout July, so the entertainment and social opportunities there don’t end in June.
The point is, with prices on everything skyrocketing and local people struggling more than they have in recent memory, maybe now is the time to enjoy what our own county has to offer. Surely the local business owners that support these outdoor adventures, entertainment opportunities and too many events and restaurants to name would appreciate your dollars, even if they are fewer.
Spend a little less money this summer and get acquainted with what Johnson County and the surrounding areas have to offer — the rewards are worthwhile for you and your local and regional community.