Spearhead Trails aims for recreational shooting boost
The Southwest Regional Recreation Authority (SRRA) will use a $750,000 federal grant to further develop its Spearhead Trails Sportsman Adventures Complex in Dickenson County.
A ribbon-cutting for the 150-acre complex in Clintwood was held in August 2022, when the complex had two archery ranges, plus shooting ranges for pistols, rifles, skeet and trap, and a clay shooting course with nine stations.
The SRRA, which was established by the General Assembly in 2008 to develop and manage Spearhead Trails as an adventure tourism destination, is using the grant to complete a barn and construct a 120-foot-by-250-foot multipurpose building for indoor archery classes and tournaments. It will also add three to six stations to its clay shooting course, erect fishing piers on two ponds, build a maintenance and store facility and buy 10 golf carts patrons can rent, says Melissa Rose, the authority’s executive director.
The funds will also be used to meet a condition set by a property owner who granted the complex a permanent easement to two acres on the condition that the SRRA disassemble a hand-hewn log cabin and relocate it off the complex’s land. “We will have it put back together as close as we can and will utilize it in some manner,” Rose says.
She expects all grant-funded work to be completed in about two years, depending on availability of materials. Future projects will include building a breezeway connecting the barn and multipurpose building.
A 2019 study on the potential economic impact of a Spearhead Trails shooting and archery range complex said it could capture residents’ spending at ranges outside the area and attract current and new Spearhead Trails users. It estimated that 50 to 147 people would use the range noncompetitively daily, while statewide or larger competitive events could draw 400 to 600 people per day.
The study also estimated the total annual economic impact could range from $1.5 million to $4.6 million and that it could support 32 full-time-equivalent jobs in the region. It added that Spearhead Trails users might also use the shooting complex and vice versa.
The complex is already drawing locals and people from other states, including North Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky, says Rita Surratt, Dickenson County’s tourism director.
“It’s given us a new market to target,” she says. “We’re really happy to see it happening.”