The Gladie Visitor Center reopens to the public

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WYMT Mountain News Weekend Edition newsletter at 6 p.m. Sunday

MENIFEE COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) – Nestled in the Red River Gorge, the Gladie Visitor Center has finally reopened.

Closed since 2019 due to low funding and the COVID-19 pandemic, the center is under new management with Find Outdoors.

“We are thrilled to have partnered with the Forest Service for so long,” said director Joey Santiago. “This is our first contract with the Kentucky State Forest Service. So we’re really lucky to be here.

They reopened on Wednesday, hosting a celebratory weekend in honor of the occasion.

“We have dedicated staff here who will be able to provide free information,” Santiago said. “90% of our programs will be free to the public. So our main goal is to keep him in education.

He said they would partner with Eastern Kentucky University for future events.

“All or most of these events will be free to the public,” Santiago said. “So people of all ages, big or small. No matter your background or ability, everyone is welcome here. :ten

Those who come for the hike, like Mike Latscha, said they were happy to see the center open after so long.

“This was the one that opened today. So we came to check,” he said. “Get maps, get information, we had no idea it had just opened. We were lucky, I guess.

Latscha called the center important for the inexperienced.

He said he hoped to see it stay open.

“There are a lot of people passing through here like us,” Latscha said. “We don’t know the area at all. We don’t know our way, we need the expertise of the people here, we need the maps.

The center held a ribbon cutting on Saturday.

Santiago said the center was welcomed with open arms.

“We can’t say enough how grateful the community is that we’re open again,” he said. “It warmed our hearts and we are blessed to be here.”

The center is open from Thursday to Monday. For more information, you can go here.

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