19 www.BlountPartnership.com OR Bike Hike TOTHEMOUNTAINS? That is the vision of the Maryville- to-Townsend Gre- enway expansion plan, which was first introduced in 2014. The 14-mile expansion plan has two parts, with funding coming from grants and public-private part- nerships. The ini- tial phase would connect the Greenway in Maryville to Heritage High School, with phase two linking Heritage to Townsend. The route utilizes existing transportation corridors, including an abandoned rail line. A Legacy Parks Foundation study concluded that the completed plan has the potential to bring Blount County $65 million in economic impact over a 10-year period. In 2016, travelers spent $346 million in Blount County, an increase of $5 million from the previous year, making Blount No. 8 out of the 95 Tennessee counties. With over 250,000 people entering the National Park through Blount County, the tourism industry accounts for over $12 million in county tax revenue and supports more than 3,000 jobs in Blount County. So, hike, or bike, on! “ Hiking in the mountains is a well-established pastime. How about a hike TO the mountains?