Despite the cold winter weather and overcast, dozens of local residents came out to Wolf Creek Park near Fayetteville to lend a hand to a project that some believe will increase the area’s outdoor recreation possibilities and attraction.
Though the project, a mountain bike trail system, has been in the works for more than two years, Sam Chaber said the busiest time for the project has been the past three months.
According to Chaber, the trail maintenance manager with the New River Gorge Trail Alliance, five miles of trail have been cut so far with volunteers donating over 600 hours.
Chaber said a volunteer group meets at Wolf Creek Park every Wednesday morning and most Sundays to cut new trail.
According to the trail maintenance manager, some 15 miles of trail have been flagged out with approximately 21 miles being mapped out on GPS.
Andy Forron, a member of the NRGTA and the owner of New River Bikes in Fayetteville, was enthused to see the amount of community involvement in the project so far.
“All this work has been done by volunteer labor and people just coming out and hanging out,” Forron said, adding that though he lives in Fayetteville and works in Fayetteville he has met new folks who have come out to lend a hand.
The bike shop owner believes the project will be a great addition to activities available to local residents and a possible important attractant to draw folks into the region.
“It’s a lot of win,” Forron said. “Hopefully, it spurs even more development. If this system gets going, there’s potential for more.”
One possible winner, in the long run, may be Wolf Creek Park with Forron and Chaber believing that the trail system may entice business to the park.
“Another goal is if these trails are here, maybe more companies and more residential people will buy into it because then they have a 20-mile trail system right out their back door that they can go to,” Chaber said.
Nate Herrold is optimistic that the trail system will not only have an economic impact on the park and Fayetteville but that when planned trails are all connected, they will economically benefit the entire region.
Herrold, an owner of Bridge Brew Works in the park, hosted a potluck get-together at his brewery for volunteers who work on the trails.
“There’s no doubt that it will have an impact on what we do here as a brewery,” Herrold said.
While excited as a small local business owner, Herrold said that he was most excited to see the active community involvement going into the project.
Gabe Peña was also excited to see community involvement.
Peña, the Fayette County deputy resource coordinator, came to the event not in his government role but as a citizen of Fayetteville looking to improve his region.
“As a resident of Fayetteville, it is really cool to see this many folks out in the wintertime,” Peña said.
Peña said that a completed trail system at Wolf Creek Park that interconnects with other parks in the county and beyond will be a unique addition to the area that may have the potential to help turn the corner to helping southern West Virginia become a year-round destination.
“I think this could be an East Coast destination for mountain biking,” Peña said.
According to Forron, those wishing to help volunteer with the trail system are more than welcome and can seek out more information by calling his store at 304-574-BIKE, through email by contacting him at firstname.lastname@example.org or through his store’s Facebook page.
The next trail building pot luck
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