Hatfield-McCoy Trail System Coming To Lincoln County
Posted in the Sod Forum
#1 Nov 19, 2011
LYBURN – A major economic development for Lincoln County is the term being used by most local officials with the news that the Hatfield-McCoy Regional Trail Authority has approved the construction of a new trail system in the county.
Approval of the $200,000 project came Thursday, August 4, when the authority’s board – which includes Lincoln Countians Farris Burton and Kenneth Ray Adkins – approved a proposed new trail at Ivy Branch. The new trail system will be located between McCorkle and Woodville in eastern Kanawha County.
Lincoln County Commission President Charles McCann, in praising creation of the new trail, said,“This is a great day for economic development in Lincoln County. If this trail is properly located, the business and jobs it will create will be impressive indeed.”
Proponents of the Hatfield-McCoy trail system, said to be the largest ATV-based trail system in the nation, point to increased hotel, restaurant and other development when trails are located in communities.
Hatfield-McCoy Director Jeff Lusk said the new Ivy Branch system “will be adjacent to the Little Coal River trail system on US 119 (Corridor G) and will be the eighth trail system for the authority.”
Burton said the new system will be located on property owned by Bill Mohler, Jr. The Little Coal River system, on the other side of the corridor in Boone County, is also on property Mohler owns.
Lusk said he and Hatfield McCoy Chairman Art Kirkendoll will appear before the Lincoln County commission at 10 a.m., on August 18 to discuss plans for the new trail.
At this point, Lusk said, the authority must receive an environmental clearance for the new system from the state Division of Highways (DOH). Once that happens, Lusk said,“we are prepared to move ahead quickly to get this system going.”
Lusk said he and Kirkendoll will discuss the importance of locating the trailhead for the Ivy Branch project in “the best possible location for economic development. This system will have just one trailhead and it is important, from an economic development standpoint, that it goes in the right place.”
Lusk said he will urge county commissioners in Hamlin to get public input as to the trailhead’s location.“The public will know better than any of us do where it would be best to locate the trailhead.”
Lusk said one thing the authority looks for in choosing trailhead locations is “that there is sufficient space and private funding available to assure that development will occur. We want to see cabins, campgrounds and even hotels developed near our sites.”
All of those involved with the authority emphasized that, by designating Ivy Branch as the first trail system in the county, there is no effort being made to “forget about the trail in the Harts area.” Lusk and others have said that the system at the Big Ugly location is being held up until the largest landowner involved can terminate a current land management agreement. Lusk estimated that may take up to 18 months.
“We will also move on the Harts area project just as soon as possible,” he emphasized.
McCann and his fellow county commissioners – Thomas Ramey, Jr. and Charles Vance – joined in praise for the project.
Vance said he has worked “tirelessly on this trail development for years now. I think it will mean nothing but growth for the economy of Lincoln County.”
Ramey added,“For far too long we have watched truck loads of ATVs with license plates from across the nation pass Lincoln County while traveling south on 119. Now it is our peoples’ turn to share in the positive economic impact provided through the trail system. The Hatfield McCoy trail brings to Lincoln County an outstanding opportunity for economic growth.”
Lusk said the Ivy Branch trail is “already mapped out and ready to go.
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