LOGAN, W.Va. — The Hatfield-McCoy Trail System’s Board of Directors recently agreed to support a plan which would ultimately open up a new and similar system of off-road trails in central West Virginia.
The board voted earlier this month to support creation of the Rimfire Trail System which has been under consideration in five counties for several years.
The Rimfire Trails would cover parts of Webster, Clay, Nicholas, Braxton and Fayette counties. It will be up to the legislature to determine, but Hatfield-McCoy Trail System Executive Director Jeff Lusk feels confident it will be a positive impact.
“They had an initial study done funded by the West Virginia Legislature looking at the feasibility of this and then another study last year about the functionality of how it would work and who the property owners were. That study was funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission,” Lusk explained. “It really gave them a plan that mapped out the way forward.”
Lusk said it will be up to lawmakers to determine if the new trails would be under a completely separate umbrella or whether it would allow the existing expertise of those with the Hatfield-McCoy Trails to become involved. Under the enabling legislation, the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System was set up as an economic development body to operate in specifically nine southern West Virginia counties. Lusk said his organization is supportive of the idea and ready to help, but the legislature would have to add language to their creating legislation which allowed for their work to continue in those five additional counties.
“Assuming they would expand our project area, this would just be a continuation of what we’ve done under the banner of Hatfield-McCoy Trails,” said Lusk.. “But we’d be doing it under the banner of Rimfire Trail System and we’d be doing it on those central counties.”
Many of the landowners the group will have to work with to secure property for trail construction are the same ones already in agreements with the Hatfield-McCoy Trails. The experience in trail construction, safety, marketing and other matters would also be guided by the management of the Hatfield McCoy System according to Lusk. The leadership might eliminate a lot of rookie mistakes as the system gets off the ground.
“We’re excited about partnering with them,” said Lusk. “I feel like it will be a great addition to what we’ve already done in southern West Virginia by adding an all terrain vehicle product in central West Virginia.”