This panel describes a five-year academic-community partnership between community organizations (The Friends of the Boone Trace, National Park Service, Adventure Cycling Association, and American Hiking Society) and a Kentucky College. It documents the results of one community’s Kentucky Trail Town initiative in adventure tourism expanded to rural Appalachian community across several counties. The goals was to raise awareness of heritage trails, help diversity the community’s economy, promote recreational methods and contribute to the quality of life of residents in the region. While tourism and leisure recreation will not make up for the deindustrialization that has caused pain in Central Appalachia, the panel reveals the collaborative efforts to make a positive contribution to the quality of life, environmental quality, and sustainability of rural communities associated with Kentucky Trail Towns. A bright spot to achieving the multi-state, multi-modal goals to developing adventure tourism has been the ability to create “buy-in” from local governmental leaders.