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Appalachia Adventure Park recently opened to the public with an exciting weekend of music and fireworks.

The park currently encompasses just under 400 acres with plans to expand by thousands more in the future. The park office is currently open Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. til 10 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m, riding is currently prohibited during the week. Owner/managers Jarrod and Jessica Hargrave, along with their business partners, have big plans for turning the park into a major tourist draw.

“We want to keep things local,” says Jarrod Hargrave, who gave this Advocate reporter a tour of the area. Hargrave took me along several of the parks trails and detailed what to expect in the future. Along the way he expressed his commitment to the area and the park, “we’re going to make a living doing this.’

At the top of a hill offering great views of the rolling hills around is a flat spot where Hargrave envisions renting campers, both by day and permanently. ‘people will be abler to set up their campers here, build a deck, and when they aren’t staying rent them out,” he said. Park staff will handle managing the rentals and he says the rent will more than pay for the camper’s spot each month.

In another flat area, Hargrave detailed a future drag strip and showed off the newly built stage. The park plans to hold numerous public events, such as the holiday weekend’s concerts and fireworks. Hargrave says that during paid events a portion of proceeds will go to charity; Saturdays event featured a donation to the Knox County Sheriff’s Department.

Hargrave is a history buff and one off his favorite spots in the park is an old cemetery. He plans on cleaning up the surrounding area and installing an iron fence around it to both protect and preserve the site. The graves seemed to belong to a family with two military members, including one from the Spanish-American War.

Further back in the woods are mud bogs and vertical hills where the Hargrave plans to hold Southern Rock Racing events. Along the high-wall at the park he pointed out the future sites of rental cabins. Primitive camping is currently available throughout the park for $20 per night.

The Hargraves have strong backgrounds in entertainment and destination properties. Jessica spent years running Sugar Hollow Marina at Norris Lake, helping bring about a major increase in revenue. Jarrod has set up high school alumni games across the region as part of Alumni Football USA, he is also a coach at Knox Central.

Currently the park charges $15 a day per vehicle and offers a $100 a year per vehicle membership. More information can be found on Facebook and appalachiaadventurepark.com. The park’s phone number is 606-802-7625.

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