60th Annual Dogwood Trail in 2024

Date of Release: 
February 28, 2024

From the Paducah Civic Beautification Board

This spring Paducah’s Civic Beautification Board (CBB) hosts the 60th annual Dogwood Trail, a community tradition.

This year’s 8-mile lighted trail is spectacular both day and night. Reflective signs, designed by CBB Chairman Carol Vanderboegh, are placed at every turn along the trail, leading drivers, walkers, and bikers from neighborhood to neighborhood.

In 1964 when Dolly McNutt, chair of the Civic Beautification Board, visited Knoxville, Tennessee, she was taken by the beauty of Knoxville's lighted dogwoods. When she returned to Paducah, she persuaded members of the CBB that lighting the dogwood trail would be of benefit to Paducah. The first trail was two blocks long along Sycamore in Paducah's west end. The tour now is several miles in length showcasing Dogwood, Japanese Maple, Red Bud, and Weeping Cherry trees as well as blooming garden areas and other flowering areas.(link is external)

In 2000, the Library of Congress accepted the Lighted Dogwood Trail as a Local Legacy. The goal of the Local Legacy project was to document the creative arts, crafts, and customs representing community life across the nation. The Lighted Dogwood Trail is permanently documented in the Library's American Folklife Center collections. Members of Congress in every state submitted materials documenting nearly 1300 local customs and traditions. The Lighted Dogwood Trail was submitted by the Rep. Ed Whitfield (1st District).

The CBB encourages homes and businesses on the trail to light their doors, shrubs, blooming plants or any trees in their yards. The more community involvement, the more magnificent the trail. CBB thanks the citizens of Paducah in advance for making this 60th trail the most beautiful ever!

Dabney Haugh, Dogwood Co-Chair, says “This spring’s lighted trail officially begins when the dogwoods bloom. The exact time for blossoming varies from year to year . . . usually mid-April but could occur as early as mid-March. The week to “light up” will be determined closer to that time and announced via the media. Get your spotlights ready to shine for the 60th!”

The most beautifully lighted dogwoods on and off the trail are designated with signs placed in the winning yards and awards are presented at a City Commission meeting. Details for a specific judging date will be shared via the media.

The Visitors Bureau works in conjunction with the CBB to provide a map of the annual Dogwood Trail.

The Paducah Ambassadors will be the trolley tour guides this year. Sixty new dogwood trees, 30 pink and 30 white, were secured last fall by the CBB. The trees are being planted to replenish dogwoods throughout the city, many were damaged during the ice storm in 2009. The first ten were planted on Sycamore Drive, the original (1964) Dogwood Trail, by CBB member Tim Story. He oversees the 60-new dogwoods project.

BikeWorld will be hosting its annual Dogwood Trail Bicycle Ride on Sunday, April 14 at 2:30 rain date is April 21. For details, visit www.bikeworldky.com. Look under rides and events. Contact number 270-442- 0751

For any questions regarding this year’s Dogwood Trail, email us paducahcivicbeautificationgmail.com or find us on Facebook/Instagram. In March, we will be launching our new CBB website! www.paducahcbb.org.