Franklin Named the Top Small Town in Outdoor Activities
A large curious crowd gathered at the gazebo last Friday night to hear a special announcement which had been anticipated by many for the last several weeks. Franklin Town Mayor Bob Scott, who had just learned what the well-kept secret was the day before, made the announcement to the enthusiastic crowd.
The announcement revealed Franklin has been chosen as the top small town in outdoor activities by the Blue Ridge Outdoor magazine. Over 100,000 votes were cast by readers of the magazine to choose the favorite adventure town from the 48 towns in the running as mountain biking meccas, whitewater oasis, climbing paradises and hiking spots.
“For our town of 3,883 folks this is one of the most exciting announcements I have had the honor of announcing as Mayor of Franklin,” said Scott. “This did not come in a vacuum; it is the result of people working toward the same goal of promoting Franklin and the preservation of our outdoor resources.” “When you look at the Town of Franklin’s logo, you see a hiker, the Appalachian Trail’s white blaze on a tree, a waterfall, our foliage, our spectacular mountains and a ruby dotting the I in Franklin,” he added. “We are so fortunate not only for the outdoors we have but also for the camaraderie, interest and shared love for our town and county.”
The Blue Ridge Outdoor magazine visited the top three wining towns to uncover the outdoor secrets and insider insights from its citizens. In addition to Franklin, the two other towns which were chosen to receive the honor of best in outdoor activities include Roanoke, Virginia with a population of 98,465 as the top mid-sized town and Franklin’s neighbor to the north, Knox
ville, Tennessee as the top big city with a population of 179,973. The article featuring Franklin highlighted why it was chosen as the top small town outdoor destination citing the magazine’s choice as the best places to eat, play and stay in the town.
The announcement team also included County Commissioner Gary Shields representing the Macon County Board of Commissioners. Shields spoke to the crowd in celebration of the announcement crediting the town’s volunteerism for making such a recognition possible and thanking the town and county’s volunteers for their work and continued efforts in Franklin and Macon County.
“We all know that being number one in anything takes a lot of effort of many,” said Shields “In what I’ve seen in my first year as a county commissioner is we have a tremendous amount of people who work every day without a dime volunteering their time; volunteers are key and are what keep things rolling.”
Tommy Jenkins, Director of Economic Development Commission for Macon County, also spoke to the crowd and the importance of downtown Franklin to the area’s economy. “We can’t have a growing economy unless you have a vibrant downtown with local businesses,” said Jenkins. “Small business is what makes our economy grow and what sustains our economy.”
“This is a great day for Franklin; it was just a few years ago when we were facing some major challenges in the downtown area,” said Jenkins. “People who were already downtown have stuck it out or people who believed in our town enough to move their businesses into downtown Franklin have started a new generation of businesses in the downtown,” he added. “These folks fight for their town every day and I am proud of them.”