MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Mon River Rail Trail has been nominated to the River Trail Conservancy (RTC) Hall of Fame along with three others in California, Illinois and Pennsylvania, respectively.
According to a press release from Visit Mountaineer Country, RTC selects nominees based on scenic value, high use, trail and trailside amenities, historical significance, excellence in management and maintenance of the facility, community connections and geographic distribution.
Now that the Mon River Trail has been nominated, it is up to the public to vote online for which they think should be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Voting began on Monday and will continue until the following Monday, August 10. The President and CEO of Visit Mountaineer Country, Susan Riddle, said they are helping the Mon River Trail get votes because they think it would be a good boost for West Virginia.
“Whenever we can get something that gets some type of national recognition like that, especially by a group that has the reputation of the RTC — they are essentially the gold standard in the country and their staff selected our rail trail,” Riddle said. “So whatever we can do to help secure that award, I think the community should step up and do it.
Riddle said this is an opportunity to help the trail system without having to put much effort in voting is free and requires no sweat. If West Virginia were to win, she said, more people will be attracted to the rail trail and all the other wonderful outdoor activities that West Virginia offers like rock climbing, whitewater rafting and biking.
“It’s further validation of why we are a great destination for a number of different purposes,” Riddle said. “Not just a great place to come to college, it’s not just a great place to live, it’s not just a great place to visit, we have a wonderful quality of life here. There’s always room for improvement, but there’s been a lot of time, money, energy, volunteer hours that are all put into expanding, developing and maintaining the rail trail.”
Riddle said she gives the credit for all the work done to the Mon River Trails Conservancy who do “marvelous work” and deserve this award for all of their hard work. Ella Belling, the executive director of the rail trail, said the following in the release:
“The Mon River Rail-Trail system has been a labor of love from our trail community for nearly three decades, which got us from just an idea to 48 miles of trail built to this high recognition and national fame. It is an incredible honor to be on the nomination list and now we need your vote to make the Mon River Rail-Trails the 34th inductee into the RTC Hall of Fame.”
Voting can be done online here and Riddle said one person can vote as many times as they like.