Community, Latest News, Preston County

Northern rail-trail opening celebrated

by Aldona Bird

KINGWOOD —   Saturday afternoon, Preston County community members gathered at the new West Virginia Northern Rail-Trail Gateway, across from the Craig Civic Center in Kingwood, for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a walk on the newly constructed two miles of trail.

 Rachelle Thorne, executive director of Preston County Parks and Recreation Commission, Connie Ervin of the Preston County Rail-Trail Committee, Preston County Commissioner Don Smith and state Sen. Dave Sypolt made a few remarks to those assembled. 

Smith read statements from U.S. Sens. Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin, and Sypolt read a statement from Gov. Jim Justice.

Josh Waugh began the ceremony with a musical performance, and the event concluded with a Dwight and Shannon Rhodes’ original song about the Northern Rail Road.

 The new two miles of trail was constructed over the past three months.

 Future plans include constructing the remaining eight miles of trail, reconstructing the old water tower at the Gateway, constructing a mountain bike park and an ADA compliant 5K fitness trail along with an outdoor event area and welcome center. 

Rachel Thorne said the execution of these plans depends on funding availability.

 “We are just really happy to share this moment with the community.” she said.