ELKINS, W.Va. (WBOY) — On Tuesday, the Elkins Area Shared Trails (EAST) hosted a meeting to reveal their Master Trail Plan at Big Timber Brewing.
EAST is described on its Facebook page as “a local volunteer organization whose mission is to bring people together through the development and stewardship of multi-purpose human powered trail systems.”
Representatives of EAST gave a presentation to those in attendance and were able to answer questions about the plan which looks to incorporate four different parcels of land that are in and around Elkins into its system.
“We have the Glendale Park which of course is owned and operated by the city of Elkins, Elkins Parks and Rec’s commission. We have a piece of property called the Darby farm, which is managed by the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, a parcel property that’s adjacent to the rail trail that’s owned by Davis Memorial Hospital, and then the Davis Elkins campus,” said Jessica Sutton, EAST Coordinator.
Sutton added that all four areas were looked at by a professional trail and construction firm that created the master trail plan through evaluations based on existing assets, challenges, and the potential of the properties.
“They really took into account what EAST wanted to see out of this plan as far as use. We’re looking at shared used trails, not just solely for mountain bikes, we want everybody to be able to access and use these trails runners, dog walkers, birdwatchers, you know, old and young alike, bike riders, whoever that is, human-powered chair use trails are what we’re really focused on,” Sutton said.
Sutton also said that while they are not the first ones to do this, the EAST collaborative is happy with the progress that it has made over the last few years and she said that it’s really significant to be able to have this conceptual plan in place. Just last year, the City of Elkins was awarded $50,000 by the Appalachian Regional Commission for the EAST Trail Master Plan project.