Trail News & Issues
WVTC Presents Governor With Draft Copy of Statewide Trail Plan
At a news conference on June 2, 1999, Governor Cecil Underwood proclaimed National Trails Day as "West Virginia Trails Day". Receiving the Proclamation were John Deitz, Vice President of Governmental Affairs for WVTC and Lu Schrader, WVTC President.
Also in recognition of National Trails Day, Schrader and Deitz presented a draft copy of the soon to be released, statewide trail plan.
During the presentation, Governor Underwood stated that "the best way to discover the breathtaking beauty that make West Virginia &amp;acute;wild and wonderful&amp;acute; is to visit our more that 200 public recreational trails and recognize that trails provide an opportunity for health, fitness and recreation while encouraging economic growth and development through tourism." Well said governor!
Statewide Trail Plan Update
West Virginia's Statewide Trail Plan,long a major Trails Coalition project, is taking another significant step towards completion with the upcoming release of the document's core, to the public for review and comment. Tentative schedule for release is early September. It represents the second draft version of the Plan and indicates the release date for a completed Plan is quickly approaching.
The public review document contains the heart of the Plan, including the introduction, Chapter 1 ( Development Process), Chapter 2 (Trail Issues) and Chapter 3 ( Actions). These sections represent the input derived from the workshops held in the spring of 1998. The public will find their input translated into specific actions in chapter 3, which spells out specific actions to be taken in the coming years to improve and promote West Virginia trails.
Not included with the public review document are the appendices of the Plan. The appendices are still currently being assembled, and will be available for review by request. The appendices will include a comprehensive listing of contacts and information that can lead trail managers, developers and promoters to the myriad sources of funding and technical expertise available.
While the process is well along and we expect an early 2000 release of the final document, it is not too late to review and comment on the Plan. To review the document, individuals can find a copy at their local library, Internet users can locate it on the WVTC website, www.wvtrails.org, or contact the WVTC office at 304/755-4878, to request a copy by mail. Any requests or questions about the Trail Plan should be directed to Keith Norman.
Carriage Trail, an urban treasure....
Folded into the natural curves of one of the many small streams carving their way through Charleston's South Hills lies a natural and historic gem that few in the Capital city are aware of, William MacCorkle's Carriage Trail. This aptly named path was constructed on the orders of former Governor William MacCorkle, to provide access to his hilltop mansion, Sunrise, in the early years of this century. It was during this construction that the violent history of the valley literally rose from the ground.
Those walking on the the Trail today will find it a cool, green oasis in the heat of a southern West Virginia summer. However, just a few hundred yards from the bottom of the trail one discovers a simple memorial stone which contradicts the peace and tranquility of the setting and recalls a time of violent dissension is American history.
The stone marks the reburial of two women executed as Confederate spies by Union troops in 1863. The women's remains were disinterred by workers constructing the trail. MacCorkle had them reburied after ordering the placement of the memorial. The trail is probably one of the few urban trails in America where the user can literally walk over the graves of Civil War spies. MacCorkle had a simple granite stone placed as a memorial to the forgotten women whose names have been lost to history.
The Carriage Trail was finished and today remains much as it was in MacCorkle's day. This is due in part to a stipulation in MacCorkle's will that only was the trail to be maintained and that the surrounding flora and fauna be allowed to remain in its natural state.
A violent wind and hail storm during the spring of 1998 caused some damage to the trail and surrounding foliage. This has since been repaired and visitors and residents alike should take advantage of this compelling remnant of Charleston's past.
WVTC Receives Kanawha County Grant
WVTC announces an award of a $5,000 Kanawha County Commission Recreation Grant to forward the planning of a trails system in Kanawha County. Some of the current efforts that the WVTC is working on for Kanawha County include, the Coal River Renaissance Trail, Trace Fork Canyon Trail, the Charleston-Huntington Greenway and the Carriage Trail
19th Annual Allegheny Trek for Life and Breath
The WV Scenic Trails Association will hold it's 19th annual Allegheny Trek for Life and Breath on October 8-12. This is a 25 mile rugged backpacking trip along the Allegheny Trail, in Monongahela National Forest, Pocahontas and Randolph Counties.
Experienced guides, medical and safety support will be on hand. Included are T-shirt & Group photo, victory buffet, incentive prizes and awards. Funds raised at the event will go to benefit the American Lung Association of West Virginia. The ALA of WV has been fighting lung disease for over 90 years. With the support of the public, many advances have been made against lung disease.
The Allegheny Trail is a 330 mile trail developed by the WV Scenic Trails Association. The trail runs south from Preston County to Monroe County through the Allegheny Mountains. Each year a different section of the trail is chosen for the trek and members work all summer to prepare it for hiking.
In the Spotlight: Green Heron Gardens
Nine years ago, Anne Romance and her husband started their farm-based business in Harrison County.
Their first year they grew produce by subscription for people in the local area. This proved too difficult. So, they decided to provide fresh herbs for area chefs. This too was difficult. It was when they decided to focus on dried herbs that their business blossomed.
The diverse product line includes seasonings, teas, body care products, and herbal medicines. These products are available at shops around the state and through their mail-order catalog.
The Green Heron also holds events such as herb walks and classes on gardening, Christmas Openhouses and spring plant sales. If you would like more information on Green Heron Gardens, call 304/783-5271
WV Loses a Beloved Community Leader
Paul McIntireSr. of Wheeling died July 30, 1999. He was the Director of the Wheeling Economic and Community Development Department and served the city for more than thirty years. He was also very active in developing the Wheeling Heritage Trail.
WVTC extends its regrets and sympathy to family and friends. Memorial contributions can be made to the Wheeling Heritage Foundation or to the Wheeling Chapter of the American Cancer Society.
Public Meeting on Coal River Renaissance Trail
Nearly 50 people attended a July 27th meeting at the Alum Creek Lions Club, to discuss the proposed Coal River Renaissance Trail. Most of the attendees were landowners. Presentations were given by Lu Schrader, President of WVTC, Marcel Fortin and Steve McBride, Lincoln Co. Development Authority and Beth Hestick, a landscape architect hired to design the trail. The intention of the presentations was to stimulate a dialogue about the trail concept.
Overall, the meeting and concept were well received. Issues raised during the meeting included:
EFFECTS ON LANDOWNERS
TRAIL USE ISSUES
- Trespassing and Vandalism
- Liability Effects on landowners
- Possible incentives for landowners
- Limit use to non-motorized
- User conflicts (horses, bikes, pedestrians, etc...)
The WVTC's next steps will be to form a committee of interested property owners to help guide further trail research and design. The WVTC will also be seeking answers to some of the questions raised at the meeting. The next public meeting is planned for the fall. Anyone with questions, concerns or ideas about this trail project, or wishing to serve on the local committee should contact Lu Schrader of the WVTC at 304/755-4878
- Clear trail locations on private roads with owners.
- Involve all owners in trail development.
- Need additional info on historic sites.
WV Trails Designated in Millennium Trails Initiative
On June 26, 1999, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and, US Secretary of Transportation, Rodney E. Slater designated 16 National Millennium Trails, in celebration of America's rich history and its bright future in the next century. The announcement was made at the International Trails and Greenways Conference in Pittsburgh, PA. Included in the designation are the Hatfield McCoy Trail System, in southern West Virginia, and the American Discovery Trail, which traverses nine northern West Virginia counties.
The Millennium Trails initiative is part of the White House Millennium Council's efforts to stimulate national and local activities to "honor the past and imagine our future." This public/private partnership is led by the US Department of Transportation and a collaborative of other agencies. The purpose is to spark the creation and enhancement of more than 2,000 trails as part of America's legacy for the future. Beth Salerno, President of American Express, stated, "As the lead corporate partner for the Millennium Trails, American Express is making a $500,000 grant to the initiative in recognition of this great legacy for our nation."
Developing Heritage Tourism and Local Microenterprise in Beverly
The town of Beverly was founded in 1790, and became the first county seat of newly created Randolph County, Virginia. Completion of the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike in 1847, connecting the Shenandoah Valley with the Ohio River, and construction of the Beverly-Fairmont Turnpike in 1852 connecting Beverly to the new B&O railroad in Grafton, made the town a major crossroads and commercial center.
Currently several efforts are underway to develop local tourism. In 1996 the first visitors center was opened in the historic bank. It was later moved to the Busrod Crawford store. Beverly Heritage Days and the re-enactment of the battle of Rich Mountain are held on alternating years in July. A new walking tour brochure is soon to be available and the visitors center is adding a new interactive website and interpretive exhibits. Next steps for the town include interpretive signage, additional local shops and businesses in the historic buildings, adding more B&B's and beginning more mainstream marketing.
Brooke Pioneer Trail President Named WV Vibram Volunteer of the Year
Ruby Greathouse, President of the Brooke Pioneer Trail Association, was designated as the 1999 Vibram Trail Volunteer of the Year for West Virginia.
Ruby has been a catalyst for trail development in the Northern Panhandle", stated Lu Schrader, President of WVTC. Schrader pointed out that Ruby has led the charge for trails in rural Brooke County, and has also worked with the City of Wellsburg on a segment of trail there. In addition, she has worked with the Panhandle Trails folks on developing a trail from Weirton to Pittsburgh, and assisted trail advocates on a trail system for the Bethany area. Ruby is on the Board of Directors for the Greater Wheeling Heritage Trail.
Ruby expresses the enthusiasm and foresightedness for trails that continues to grow in West Virginia" said Schrader. "Ruby is truly a West Virginia jewel."
Construction Trades 2000...
By Mickael Downs, JATC Coordinator, Local Union #970
IBPAT Local Union 970 Painters and Allied Trades has been a part of the West Virginia Building Trades since 1902. A large number of our members are avid outdoorsmen, utilizing many of the numerous rivers, streams and trails throughout the state. Most often we view them while being perched on a bridge 30-1000 feet off the ground. This vantage point offers a unique perspective of the surrounding landscape.
The forests, waterways and wildlife are topics of many job site discussions and local union meetings encompassing environmental impact. We take our profession very seriously and a tremendous part is the disposal of toxic waste that is produced while refurbishing bridges. We work with many agencies that govern the health of our habitats, including; the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Natural Resources. Preservation and stewardship of the natural beauty in West Virginia concerns all of us and we in the West Virginia Building and Trades challenge everyone to do their part to keep Our Habitat Healthy for the next millennium.
Welcome new WVTC Treasurer
The WV Trails Coalition is proud to announce that Jenny Starr, senior auditor of Gibbons and Kawash Account Firm, has joined our family as the new treasurer. She is working toward receiving her CPA. Former treasurer Jack Mallory had accepted the position of VP of Finance, in April.
WVTC Gets Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation Grant
WVTC recently received a $2260 grant from the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation for the purchase of a high capacity laser printer. This printer will be utilized for more economical production of brochures, the newsletter and much more....