SMITHERS — Municipalities in the western part of Fayette County are continuing to align with each other and provide various services to their residents and the surrounding communities.

On July 2, the City of Smithers officially introduced the River Cities Urban Walking Trail, which is part of the larger River Cities Trail Plan.

The urban leg of the trail starts at Smithers Gateway Center/City Hall, goes eastward on Michigan Avenue for 1 mile to Campbell Street, turns right toward the Kanawha River for a block, turns right onto Kanawha Avenue and travels 3/4 mile, turns right onto Joe Cavalier Street, and then proceeds left onto Michigan for 1/4 mile back to the start.

“We are working diligently to position Smithers and Montgomery to fit seamlessly into the new outdoor recreation economy being fostered by the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, the Hatfield- McCoy Trails, the Mammoth Preserve, and the Upper Kanawha Valley outdoor recreation plan,” said Smithers Mayor Dr. Anne Cavalier. “This urban trail in Smithers is the first leg of our River Cities Trail Plan that includes both Montgomery and Smithers.”

The overall trail design was completed by GAI Architects and paid for by Healthy Places for Healthy People, Cavalier said.

The River Cities Urban Walking Trail portion of the plan was paid for by a mini-grant from Cultivate WV, a program of the West Virginia Community Development Hub.

Cavalier extended her appreciation to the following for their participation in last week’s event: Allison Smith, West Virginia State University Extension agent; Noel Smith, WVU Extension; Jenny Totten, WV Hub/Cultivate WV program; Erin Ellis-Reid, Active Southern West Virginia; Madison Stone, representing Congresswoman Carol Miller, R-W.Va.; Rep. Miller for her remarks and the donation of a new United States flag; Montgomery Mayor Greg Ingram; Beach Vickers, grant consultant for the City of Smithers; city manager Bill Hannabass and city street employees, City of Oak Hill; Becky Sullivan, director of the New River Gorge CVB/Fayette County Chamber of Commerce; and U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., for a letter and supportive remarks.

— Steve Keenan

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