The Heart of the Highlands Trail System will hold its fifth annual Stakeholders Meeting at 7 p.m. Oct. 10 at Blackwater Falls State Park Lodge. Anyone interested in using and connecting trails on public lands in the Canaan Valley and Davis area is welcome to attend and learn more.
The first phase of the Heart of the Highlands Trail System (HoH) is a 23-mile core loop that will connect the partner properties: Blackwater Falls State Park, Little Canaan Wildlife Management Area, Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Canaan Valley State Park, Monongahela National Forest, and the National Youth Science Foundation.
Connecting trails will be established and existing trails improved to link the public lands in and around Canaan Valley to each other and to the Town of Davis. Over half of the proposed 23-mile core loop trail is already on the ground.
HoH is currently sponsoring a Student Conservation Association (SCA) trail crew to work on trails this fall. The SCA have completed a footbridge to link the Camp 70 Bridge on Canaan Valley NWR property to the highly popular Splash Dam South trail.
The Splash Dam South Segment is the first new segment of the Heart of the Highlands Core Loop to be completed. This 3-mile trail follows the south side of the Blackwater River from Route 32 near Davis to the Camp 70 Bridge and was built by Canaan Valley Institute with the help of many community volunteers. The SCA crew is also doing much needed maintenance on the Allegheny Trail south of Canaan Loop Road within the Monongahela National Forest.
While many organizations and agencies are partnering to make this trail system a success, the volunteers in the community have made a huge impact in the labor needed to build trails. Tucker County Trails, a Heart of the Highlands partner, is a nonprofit, volunteer organization dedicated to the service, access, and promotion of trails for the health and well-being of Tucker County. They have received a WVDOT Recreational Trails Program grant to supply materials needed for the work that the SCA crew is performing on the Allegheny Trail.
The Heart of the Highlands Trail System board of directors is excited to see Tucker County Trails, the mountain biking community and other community members giving so generously of their time and talents to build these trail connections on our great public lands. We are thrilled to see the efforts and accomplishments of the Heart of the Highlands partnerships.