New Rail Trail To Come To North Marion Area - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

New Rail Trail To Come To North Marion Area

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MARION COUNTY -

The Marion County Parks and Recreation Commission prides itself on the county's trail systems.

They're used for transportation, exercise, and community gatherings.

There are several trails in Fairmont but only a small one in the North Marion area.

The CSX railroad in Marion County hasn't been in use for more than 40 years and the Marion County Commission is hoping to change that. Barrackville and Mannington may see a new rail trail in the near future.

There are many people that take advantage of Marion County's rail trails.

"I just walk," said Alice Aycoth, Fairmont Resident. "They actually have wonderful, free programs on the web but I just walk and prep."

And for very good reason.

"We have an extensive, maybe one of the biggest rail trails in the state of West Virginia per county in Marion County," said Randy Elliott, Marion County Commission president. "They go mostly in Fairmont here traveling toward Shinnston. We don't have anything going north or west where North Marion lies."

It's a straight shot down the Husky Highway. It's exactly 13.5 miles from the Marion County Courthouse to Mannington City Hall.

You can travel that in roughly 25 minutes by car, and now the Marion County Commission is adding a different way to travel.

"We've tried for quite some time to annex the abandoned rails that go from Mannington to Fairmont," Elliott said.

The annexation is underway and the dream of creating a 16 mile rail trail is becoming a reality.

"Concentrating on Farmington to Mannington is what we actually have funding to start with now," Elliott said.

It will cost the county nearly $300,000.

MSES Consultants in Clarksburg has begun the annexation process by testing the soil to make sure there are no hazardous materials.

"We will test every so many feet by MSES Consultants," Elliott said. "The condition of the material we are going to be putting the rail trail on. That's the first thing we have to do."

The snowy, cold weather may have put a delay on soil sampling this week.

The Marion County Commission hopes to have this part of the project completed by May.