She also is a strong rail-trail advocate
and sees the potential for increased tour-
ism, economic development and health
improvement as the state continues to
expand its trail system. Despite being
ranked 45th in the nation in total rail-
trail mileage, Kentucky is making head-
way in trail development—thanks to an
emphasis on healthy lifestyles and the
acquisition of federal grant money for
alternative transportation such as trails.
Beshear cites recent progress on
development of other rail-trails, such as
that the state is making important strides.
My excitement is that everyone is really
starting to understand that trail develop-
ment is more than just an opportunity for
outdoor adventure,” says Beshear.
I recently caught up with the first lady
to chat about her upbringing, her love for
horses and her thoughts on trails in the
How were physical activity and
an appreciation for the outdoors
ingrained in you as a kid?
Well, I was always an active child. I was
one of three children, and we were sent
outside. That was our recreation, to play
outside. As a little girl, I was never a doll
player. I wanted to get out and be active,
and that is something that has carried on
through my life.
I understand horses are your
preferred mode of transportation
on the trail. When did that love
As a small child, I made friends with
people who had horses so I could be
invited over. I can still remember that,
entucky’s first lady Jane Beshear is an enthusiastic
champion of exercise and outdoor recreation in
her state. Raised locally, the wife of Governor Steve
Beshear attributes her good health largely
to a life spent on horseback and
hitting the state’s many trails.
By Abby Laub