Numerous businesses in Lewis County specialize in wonderful food offerings.

Now imagine if some of them could be connected and marketed as an example of the terrific items people can sample while traveling through the region. Such an enterprise would magnify the successes of these individual sites and bring more attention to the area as a whole.

This is what has happened with the creation of the Cuisine Trail. It showcases 11 merchants in Copenhagen, Croghan and Lowville. Trail signs lead potential customers through each community.

“The route is described as 48 miles with producers ‘located within 7 miles’ of it. But when starting and finishing the route in Lowville, stopping at each featured business, the trail tops 65 miles. A GPS isn’t required but helpful as the individual businesses do not have the Cuisine Trail signs and are often beyond the turn-off signs that follow the basic trail loop,” according to a story published June 29 in the Watertown Daily Times. “Brittany Davis, marketing specialist for the county’s Economic Development Department and the Industrial Development Agency, said the cost for participating in the trail was $250 for the businesses and, along with co-sponsors the county Chamber of Commerce and Cornell Cooperative Extension, the trail was made to help attract tourists to the area and drive traffic to local businesses.

“According to local foodie Lee Hinkleman, who has had a popular Facebook blog ‘Eating in Upstate New York and Beyond’ since 2015, there is plenty of ‘delicious’ food to be found in each place,” the story reported. “Mr. Hinkleman recently followed the Cuisine Trail himself, tasting some of the products available along the way.”

Organizers spent three years hashing out the details of creating the Cuisine Trail. And it seems like it was well worth the effort.

“Overall, Mr. Hinkleman said he was impressed with the Cuisine Trail products he tasted. According to Mrs. Davis, the emergence of the various themed trails throughout the state is a result of a state push to attract tourism in the state since 2011,” the story reported. “She said tourism is now the state’s third-largest employer, supporting [more than] 900,000 jobs annually. There are about 40 cuisine and wine trails throughout the state to help promote tourism, but this is the first tourist trail that is completely in Lewis County. The local and state Departments of Transportation and county Highway Department helped assign the trail route and installed the state-approved signs, according to Mrs. Davis.”

This is an excellent idea that makes use of well-known food sites to attract more tourists. This complements Lewis County’s reputation as a popular destination for those who enjoy riding snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles.

If marketed effectively, the Cuisine Trail could reward other local businesses as well. Once people stop to try the fare at a featured site, they’ll have the opportunity to see what else they can acquire while here.

The Lewis County Chamber of Commerce should work cooperatively with other local groups to make guides available highlighting the businesses located in specific communities. People involved with the Cuisine Trail also should see if they can obtain better signage to lead travelers to the designated stops. Not everyone is as familiar with Lewis County as are local residents, and some of those who can’t find particular businesses may abandon their journey.

But all in all, this idea builds on the good work that merchants have been doing here for years. We commend those behind the Cuisine Trail and wish them success. Visit www.cuisinetrail.com for more information.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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