U.S. Army Veteran Patrick Keough is the first to complete all 18 Visit Clarksville Challenge Trails. This achievement means he used the Visit Clarksville travel app to check in at more than 140 businesses and attractions. Three weeks later, Army Veteran Jamira Boone followed suit, also completing the 18 trails.
In 2022, Visit Clarksville launched 13 “Challenge Trails” through their destination app. Earlier this year, five more trails were added with a prize incentive for anyone who completed all 18.
What’s a Challenge Trail? Under the Trails tab in the app, users will find a list of themed “trails” by areas of interest like Public Art, Brews & Beverages, African American Legacy Trail, Family Fun, Fashionista Finds, Uniquely Southern Food, and more. Each trail contains 7-30 places across Montgomery County where users can check in. When a user completes the set number of check-ins (usually about half of the total locations), they earn a challenge badge immediately in the app and Visit Clarksville receives an email.
“I had a blast doing the trails,” said Keough. “I've actually lived in Clarksville for quite a while now but never knew some of the places I visited even existed. In particular, I learned quite a lot from the African American Legacy Trail. Places like the Steve Wylie marker and the Mount Olive Cemetery stand out in my memory. Both places aren't really out of the way, I've been by them dozens of times. Their history often gets overlooked unless you take the time and know what you are looking for. In the Architectural Gems trail, I've often passed by a lot of those buildings and wondered about them. Now I know the stories behind them,” he said.
Boone has lived in Clarksville for 20 years including her service at Fort Campbell. Now employed at the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System, Boone learned about Visit Clarksville through an Engage Conference.
“I looked into it, and since I'm a collector, I figured the pins from all the trails would be awesome to add to my collection,” she said. “I never thought when I started this I would learn so much history and see so many sights I never knew existed. The African American Trail was my favorite, but I love to eat as well so I enjoyed the food trails too. I'm so happy this adventure was created as a learning experience, memory creator, and so many things to do right in my own backyard. I'll never forget this experience. Thank you all so much.”
“It’s a new twist on the old ‘passport stamping’ books,” said Visit Clarksville Executive Director Theresa Harrington. “Most of our marketing efforts are about packaging experiences that different kinds of visitors will enjoy, then promoting them. This concept combined content and technology we already had to create a fun program for visitors, newcomers, and locals. It was an immediate hit – something we saw that families were doing together -- so we knew pretty quickly that we’d want to expand the program.”
Visit Clarksville designed lapel pins for each trail and added a special pin this year exclusively for Austin Peay State University students. “Any student completing any trail can earn a special “Proud Gov” pin,” she said.
Harrington said about 80 people earned pins in the first three months and another 110 this year – a combination of both visitors and residents. “Those numbers may not sound huge,” she said, “but keep in mind that’s over 2,500 times in the last year that people have checked in at places that they may not have visited otherwise -- or even known about.”
Keough believes there is truly something everyone will enjoy in the trails. “Whether you’re visiting Clarksville or have lived here for a while, you get to discover (or re-discover) Clarksville in a fun and informative way! And I've got plenty of new places to check out now when we go out to eat.”
The Visit Clarksville TN app is a free tool to help visitors and locals discover Clarksville.
Visit Clarksville Challenge Trails
- 25 Scenic Spots
- African American Legacy Trail
- Architectural Gems
- Artsy Shopping
- Best Burgers
- Brews & Beverages
- Civil War
- Diverse Delights
- Fashionista Finds
- Fun Family Attractions
- Heritage Trail
- Music Heritage
- Outdoor Adventure
- Public Art
- Sweet Treats
- Treasure Hunters
- Uniquely Southern Food
About Visit Clarksville
Visit Clarksville is the destination marketing organization for Clarksville-Montgomery County.
Its mission is to positively influence tourism in the area by promoting tourist attractions, hosting conventions and group tours, and engaging in large-scale marketing efforts. In 2015, the tourism organization adopted the Visit Clarksville brand. They are funded by a portion of the county’s lodging tax. The 2021 Economic Impact Report of Travel on Tennessee shows that tourism in Montgomery County accounted for $340.5 million in visitor spending, ranking ninth of the state’s 95 counties. Local and state sales tax generated from this visitor spending totaled $27.4 million.