BRAMWELL, W.Va. — Officials with the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System announced on Friday that the Pocahontas ATV Trail in Mercer County will remain open until mid-January.

Deputy Executive Director John Fekete said the mining company that is currently leasing property crossed by the trail agreed to keep it open to the public beyond the original closing date of Dec. 3, which was announced last month because of safety issues related to the expansion of mining operations in the area.

Tourism officials, business owners who cater to the ATV tourism trade, and ATV enthusiasts subsequently expressed concerns about the pending closure, which is now scheduled to occur on Jan. 14.  The Pocahontas Trail provides a link to the rest of the Hatfield-McCoy system, covering nearly 700 miles of trails.  Although the trailhead is located in Bramwell, much of the trail system is in Windmill Gap in western Mercer County.  A new access trail is under development.

Earlier this year, Executive Director Jeff Lusk told MetroNews the shift from one series of trails to another is not uncommon, and is actually part of the unique design for the Hatfield McCoy Trails’ shared partnership with private land owning companies.