Tennessee River Trails Association (TRTA), Gateway Feasibility Study

Location: Nine Counties in Western and Middle Tennessee
Client: Greater Nashville Regional Council

In 2013, Lose & Associates was selected by the Greater Nashville Regional Council on behalf of the Tennessee River Trails Association (TRTA) to develop gateway designs and improve heritage tourism along the Tennessee River Trail Scenic Byway. Located in West and Middle Tennessee and defined by the Tennessee River (Kentucky Lake) the participating counties of the TRTA include Benton, Decatur, Hardin, Henry, Houston, Humphreys, Perry, Stewart and Wayne.

This nine county region encompasses a byway which follows two-lane roads through more than 4,200 square miles. The area is located a short 60 miles west of Nashville and 100 miles east of Memphis and has a population of around 150,000. Currently, the region’s tourism is based on hunting, fishing, and boating. An emphasis on heritage tourism was identified as a way to diversify the region’s offerings and increase spending in small towns, supporting community economic development.

The TRTA secured two federal Scenic Byway grants, the first grant funded a feasibility study for establishing gateway portals at various locations on the Tennessee River Trail Scenic Byway. The gateways have been designed as roadside stops and a minimum of one is planned in each of the nine counties. The second grant financed the creation of wayfinding displays at the gateways which provide information about the byway and also feature points of interest within each of the nine counties along the corridor. Lose & Associates, along with subconsultants Heritage Strategies, LLC, Walden Mills Group, RPM and Ashworth Environmental Design, provided corridor-wide place-making concepts, held region-wide public meetings and produced heritage tourism development and wayfinding graphic design for the nine county region.