Appalachia’s Outdoors: A Gateway to Growth

Appalachia is home to the nation’s most-visited national park, The Great Smoky Mountains, and the newest national park, New River Gorge. The region is also home to national forests and national historical parks, more than 225 state parks, world-class trail systems, and more.

Together, these natural assets create a gateway to economic opportunity and increased quality of life for communities. ARC investments and partners aim to sustainably leverage these assets to build tourism opportunities and strengthen local economies.

National Parks
National Historical Parks
National Forests

National Historical Parks

Photo: Tuskegee Institute

Photo: NPS via Hopewell Culture 

ARC’s Outdoor and Tourism Investments

ARC investment in outdoor projects from FY 2016 to FY 2020
nature, culture, and tourism projects supported by ARC from FY 2016 to FY2020
Investment in Action

Rural Action: Moving Forest Communities Forward

In Ohio, Rural Action is using ARC support and a partnership with Wayne National Forest to help coal-impacted communities boost tourism through trails.

Virtual Event

Appalachia Envisioned Roadshow

This five-part virtual event series showcases how all 13 Appalachian states are bringing ARC’s investment priorities to life. At Stop #2: Culture and Tourism, hear how communities are using outdoor recreation, creative placemaking, and more strategies to create economic growth.