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The Loop Road

Winding thru The Centers’ 12,000 acres will be the Loop Road, a 15-mile driving loop that will begin and end at the Visitor Center.  There will be trail systems and viewing pavilions to accommodate those visitors that want to get off-the-road.  However, for those that prefer to view the wildlife from the comfort of their vehicle, the Loop Road will be the solution.

The Loop Road will wind through forested areas and across the open grasslands.  It will offer spectacular views of mountain landscapes for miles in all directions.  Along the Road will be interpretive signs informing visitors about various wildlife species, habitat restoration on coal mine sites and the geologic history of the region.  Picnic areas, pavilions and pull off areas will be interspersed along the 15 miles. 

The model for the Loop Road is the 11-mile long Cades Cove Loop Road in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Two million people per year drive that loop road to see the scenery and the wildlife, which does not include elk. 

There will be trails accessible from the Loop where visitors can hike into the forest, out into the grasslands, or down along the sides of the mountain, along contours where coal was mined below the ridge tops.

The Loop will pass by The Center’s fruit orchards, vineyards,  honeybee hives and other experimental sites where research and development will be done regarding agricultural production on mine lands.

The Loop Road will provide a year-round, all-weather wildlife and nature viewing option for individuals of all ages and levels of fitness.