Junior Duvall Presented Award At Nolin River Ceremony
Back, L-R: Rachelle Wright, Jennifer McNett, Vanessa Ulm, Kim Duvall, Junior Duvall, Phyllis Thornton, Linda Watts, MacLean Lessenberry, Jordan Jones. Front, L-R: Jeff Moore, Edmonson County Judge Executive Wil S.Canon. All help Junior Duvall celebrate his Trail User of the Year Award.
submitted by Edmonson County Tourism and Cave Country Trails:
On a brisk December day, Cave Country Trails (CCTI) partners and friends gathered on the banks of the Nolin River to honor Junior Duvall as their very first Trail User of the Year. He was presented a vintage oar with a plaque that read: Junior Duvall - 2021 Trail User of the Year - in recognition of his undeniable passion for the outdoors and inspirational calls for others to join him on trails throughout our region.
“This award was created to recognize community members who are models of dedication to outdoor adventure,” said Rachelle Wright, CCTI Project Director. “Our board of directors enthusiastically supported honoring Duvall with the inaugural award for his enthusiasm and willingness to share that and his talents with his community.”
Joseph Senate Duvall, Jr., better known to locals as Junior, is a lifelong resident of Edmonson County, born and raised in the Sunfish community to a hardworking family of farmers. Spending his childhood on the farm sparked Junior’s appreciation and adventurous love of the outdoors. When not hard at work sowing the ground, he found himself riding ponies, zooming around on his dirt bike, hunting, and exploring the abundant creeks and fields peppered throughout the county.
Junior worked for 25 years as a sales rep for welding equipment and safety supplies, but the lure of farming couldn’t keep him away. He married his partner-in-adventure, Kim Johnson Duvall, in 2003 and became a fantastic Dad to their two children, Ben Owens and Emalee Duvall.
After officially retiring and finding himself with some free time, Junior started to trail hike, which reignited his appreciation for the great outdoors. Hiking led to biking, which led to kayaking and Junior was instantly hooked; he bought two kayaks and never looked back. The waters call to him like a siren song and you will find Junior, and his camera, on the trails through all four seasons. While he and Kim paddle and hike in multiple locations, the local trails offered in the Cave Country Trails region are his playground.
Sharing the rivers with local paddlers allowed Junior to learn about hidden natural gems off the beaten path, which he would take upon himself to research, explore, and share on his social media and with the Cave Country Trails audience. Junior once wrote “People you meet on the water seem to always flow the right way in life.”
His passion for outdoor adventures, especially kayaking, is evident when describing a trip down the river. According to his wife Kim, “Kayaking has become his passion. The rivers are different from day to day. He loves helping others see the beauty in what is around us every day that some may never get the chance to see. He has always had a kind and helping heart.”
“Junior knows these rivers better than most and we can always depend on him to encourage others to get out, paddle, and see how wonderful they are for themselves. Plus if we ever need him, he’s just a phone call away.” said Joel Davis, CCTI board member and owner of Green River Canoeing and Kayak.
“We thank Junior for all he does to promote trail use, and we look forward to honoring other trail users in years to come,” added Wright.
Cave Country Trails focuses on creating a regional network of biking, hiking, equestrian, and water trails to connect communities and make the Mammoth Cave Area and South Central Kentucky a more attractive outdoor destination and place to live. This initiative promotes healthy lifestyles while attracting visitors and new businesses, managed with local flavor, resulting in regional economic growth. The counties involved in Cave County Trails are Barren, Edmonson, Hart and Warren, including the Trail Towns of Munfordville, Park City, Cave City/Horse Cave and Brownsville. To learn more, visit cavecountrytrails.com