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Rec Trails Grant Spurs New Trail Development in West Virginia

The communities of West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle are one giant step closer to connecting to the thriving trail activity of western Maryland and Pennsylvania, thanks to a Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grant.

On Monday, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced $80,000 in RTP funds to support the development of the North Berkeley Rail Trail, utilizing a disused section of Baltimore and Ohio Railroad line. Though still in the early stages of planning, when complete the trail will run between Berkeley Springs and the U.S. 522 Potomac River bridge, and connect to the C&O Canal towpath, the Western Maryland Rail Trail, and the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP), an internationally renowned rail-trail that attracts many thousands of riders every year from throughout America and around the world.

This trails tourism traffic is worth an estimated $50 million a year to the communities along the GAP, and in recent years has breathed new life and commerce into towns and small cities suffering the decline of traditional primary industries. The North Berkley Rail Trail would allow the businesses and main streets of northeast West Virginia to connect to this booming market.

The grant to the North Berkley Rail Trail project was one of 22 West Virginian trail projects receiving support this week. Gov. Tomblin announced $1.2 million in RTP grants to trails throughout the state, including the Meadow River Rail Trail in Fayette and Greenbrier counties, the Mon River Rail Trail system in Monongalia and Preston counties, and the Potts Valley Rail Trail (above) in Monroe County.

Way to go, Mountaineers.

Photo courtesy www.TrailLink.com

 

 


Posted Wed, Jan 9 2013 2:48 PM by Jake Lynch

Comments

Leslie B wrote re: Rec Trails Grant Spurs New Trail Development in West Virginia
on Sat, Jan 12 2013 12:18 PM

Yay! Hope this spreads.

Amanda Pitzer wrote re: Rec Trails Grant Spurs New Trail Development in West Virginia
on Tue, Jan 15 2013 1:13 PM

Friends of the Cheat was also awarded Rec Trail funding for the purchase of the Kingwood to Tunnelton rail corridor (about 10 miles)!

Peggy Pings wrote re: Rec Trails Grant Spurs New Trail Development in West Virginia
on Tue, Jan 15 2013 1:46 PM

So glad Berkeley Springs is getting their rail-trail!  And big hurrahs for all the rest!  

 

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