OAK HILL, W.Va. — A Fayette County destination for outdoor enthusiasts now has a new level of protection.

The West Virginia Land Trust and the City of Oak Hill have partnered to purchase 283 acres of land for recreational use from the Berwind Land Company. It will be the site of the Oak Hill Needleseye Boulder Park. The property will have hiking trails, rock climbing and mountain biking.

Plans show the property will utilize the natural rock features already in place. Lands Program Manager for the West Virginia Land Trust Ashton Berdine said this will allow them to provide a place for beginners to learn bouldering. The popular sport is similar to rock climbing, but without ropes and harnesses.

“With rock climbing already being so popular in Fayette County, bouldering will draw a different crowd and provide new and additional opportunities. The curious rock formations, including a nearly two-mile long rock wall, will also fascinate the non-climber and be worth the hike to visit.”

The property also has several wooded walking trails. Oak Hill City Manager Bill Hannabass believes these will help draw even more people who may not be interested in bouldering.

“It will enhance our tourism industry and help the City of Oak Hill economically. The project protects a treasure, not just for West Virginia, but for traveling adventures, too. The cliffs are strikingly beautiful.”

The property will be given to the City of Oak Hill to manage and develop. West Virginia Land Trust will have an easement allowing them to protect the natural and recreational assets of the land.

According to their website, West Virginia Land Trust is a non-profit organization dedicated to land protection. It works with land owners and communities who are interested in protecting lands of recreational, scenic, agricultural or ecological importance.

For more information about the organization, visit their website.

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