ELKINS, W.Va. – A new path created for pedestrians and cyclists connecting the Elkins Train Depot and the Darden Mill is almost complete.
The project is a collaboration between Elkins Main Street and the Randolph County Development Authority and was installed to give visitors and residents a safe walkway when exploring the Welcome Center and the Darden Mill which is home to the West Virginia Railroad Museum as well as the Appalachian Forest Discovery Center.
Annually the tourist destination attracts more than 100,000 people each year and because of its popularity, city officials wanted to provide a safe path between those two destinations away from traffic.
A newly poured concrete walkway has been installed, as well as three streetlights and officials stated that three park benches will be installed in the coming days.
“As we develop the rail yard there was not a pedestrian infrastructure put in place and once the Darden Mill was rehabbed and home to a few different tourist attractions there wasn’t a safe way for pedestrians to be able to get from one place to the other,” explained Robbie Morrison, Executive Director of the Randolph County Development Authority and board member of Elkins Main Street.
“Not only did we want to provide that safety, we also wanted to make it aesthetically pleasing with streetlights and curbing and there will be benches and other things that provide a nice atmosphere for tourists around the rail yard.”
Elkins Main Street officials explain that the path wouldn’t have been possible without the support from Atlantic Coast Pipeline, First Energy Foundation, West Virginia Humanities Council, the City of Elkins, the Randolph County Development Authority and Elkins Main Street.