New interpretive signs, trailhead signs unveiled at Breaks Park

Signage project photo

Ten new interpretive and trailhead signs were unveiled at a ceremony at Breaks Park. The signs were made possible through a grant from the Ratcliffe Foundation, and research and narrative provided by Tony Scales. Superintendent Austin Bradley said the signs will offer detailed historical, geological, and cultural information to guests. Pictured (l-r) are Geologist and Author Tony Scales, Ratcliffe Foundation Representatives Sam Varney and Tobe Rife, and Breaks Park Superintendent Austin Bradley.

Ten new interpretive and trailhead signs were recently unveiled in a ceremony at Breaks Park.

The signs, made possible through a $10,000 grant provided by the Radcliffe Foundation, focus on the general, geological, and cultural history of the park. The narratives on those signs, which were written by author and geologist Tony Scales, offer in-depth information as well as visual references.

Seven signs with historical information will be placed at overlook areas and three signs will be found at trailheads, offering detailed map information for hikers.

“This has been an excellent project that was sorely needed,” said Park Superintendent Austin  Bradley, “Without the support provided by the Ratcliffe Foundation, this is one of those projects that would have kept getting pushed back.”

He said Scales was also an integral part of the project. “Tony Scales did a tremendous amount of research on the area and spent hours going through the park archives to put together a lot of information,” said Bradley.

During the unveiling ceremony, Bradley noted that as one of only two interstate parks in the United States, Breaks was different from most parks. “We like to be unique, being unique is good” he said, “but when it comes to funding, it’s bad,” he added. While state parks receive up to 50 percent of their funding from the state government, he said Breaks gets less than 15 percent of funding from the state governments of Virginia and Kentucky combined.

For that reason, Breaks Park must rely on foundations and people willing to give their time and effort to complete projects of magnitude, such as this much needed signage project, he said.

Bradley said the signs will be mounted at the overlook and trail sites. “The signage series should represent a sort of attraction in themselves, by providing our visitors with a sort of driving history tour,” Bradley added.

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The signs will eventually become part of a guided driving tour at Breaks.

 

 

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