MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The 48-mile Mon River Rail-Trail System has will soon be placed in the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s Rail-Trail Hall of Fame.
The trail will join the hall after receiving more than 60% of votes in an online survey.
The West Virginia system includes the Monongahela River, Caperton and Deckers Creek rail-trails, and serves as a link to Morgantown and trails in Parkersburg and Pittsburgh.
Ryan Chao, the president of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, said the trail system is a meaningful community asset.
“This trail system is a community treasure and an important asset to the entire region. It delivers powerful economic benefits and creates opportunities for transportation, outdoor recreation, and environmental stewardship, building new connections between the community, the riverfront and downtown,” he said.
“This trail system embodies the potential of rail-trails to bring transformative benefit to communities across the country.”
Ella Belling, the executive director of the Mon River Trails Conservancy, said the recognition will result in increased interest from people outside of the state.
“This recognition draws attention to the incredible value that rail-trails can deliver,” she said. “From economic opportunity to health and wellness, to recreation and transportation, all issues that are especially poignant as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
A 2017 study co-authored by West Virginia University found users of the Mon River Trail contribute more than $6 million annually to the Morgantown region.