Branching out from its nexus in Morgantown, home to West Virginia University, the Mon River Rail-Trail System comprises 48 miles of seamlessly connected pathway featuring an ensemble cast of environments.
In honor of Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary this year, Rails to Trails magazine is highlighting four rail-trails that have had a transformative Cinderella story, going from industrial dumping grounds to beloved community assets.
The P2P: It’s a small acronym that holds a world of promise. Extending from Parkersburg to Pittsburgh (P2P), the developing 238.5-mile route connecting northern West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania by trail would be a game changer for the dozens of small, rural Appalachian towns that have seen the Cinderella story of the highly successful Great Allegheny Passage so close at hand.
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) is forging ahead with a new focus: to connect critical walking and bicycling infrastructure across the country, and demonstrate the powerful benefits trails and trail networks deliver communities, through projects such as RTC’s TrailNation™ initiative and the Great American Rail-Trail™. Recently, the Trailblog chatted with RTC President Ryan Chao on how the organization is making this work happen in collaboration with thousands of partners across the country.
Unique in makeup and geography, each trail that’s hosting the 3,700-miles-plus preferred route of the Great American Rail-Trail has many stories to tell—some as old as, or far older than, our country itself. Both well known and lesser known, the histories found along the route demonstrate why the “Great American” is a true national treasure.
Imagine what’s possible with a trail that connects the country.
Imagine ... pedaling across the entire country on a safe, seamless and scenic pathway—or walking a local trail that connects along historic routes. That vision will become a reality thanks to the Great American Rail-Trail, a signature project of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) and the organization’s most ambitious TrailNation™ project yet.
Big news for trails in West Virginia! This Fall, the West Virginia Department of Transportation announced that it had awarded two grants totaling more than $343,000 through the state’s Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) for trail projects in Marion and Wood counties. The TAP awards will specifically help acquire three segments of disused CSX corridor totaling 3.35 miles along a developing 150-mile stretch of rail-trail from Parkersburg to the state’s border with Pennsylvania.
This past year, RTC worked with hundreds of partners across TrailNation to secure funding, provide technical expertise and generate public support for trail networks that are proving vital to the people and places they serve. Here is a spotlight on some of the critical project advances we made in 2018—and how they are bringing to life our vision of trails at the heart of healthy, thriving communities.
The P2P corridor heads east out of the Ohio River port city of Parkersburg, along the North Bend Rail Trail, through small, rural communities like Cairo, West Union and Salem. Seventy-eight percent of the 150-mile West Virginia section is already complete, with a few key gaps in Wood, Harrison and Marion counties.
The P2P: It’s a small acronym that holds a world of promise. Extending from Parkersburg to Pittsburgh (P2P), the developing 238.5-mile route connecting northern West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania by trail would be a gamechanger for the dozens of small, rural Appalachian towns that have seen the Cinderella story of the highly successful Great Allegheny Passage so close at hand.