I’m proud to announce that Saturday was the final trail work day and public opening of the new Black Water View Trail. This project has been going on for several year from the start of its conception to its opening this weekend. It is a conglomeration of merging two previously existing trails (with some sustainable upgrades to get them dry) that total 2 miles, a use designation change, a recreational easement through private property, approximately 4,000 feet of new trail construction, a 300 foot undulation board walk through a wetland, and a 54 foot steel bridge across the Blackwater River. This major, multi-year project creates the only public,multi-user connection from the populated side of Canaan Valley to the Northwest side of the Blackwater River with over 13 miles of trail, that previously was only accessible by a 45 minute drive far around the valley or private access in Timberline Resort. That access not only allows for easier use of that trail system, but it creates another access point to the Dolly Sods for Backpacking from the Canaan Valley floor via Cabin Mountain Trail. Very, very cool is the least I can say.
How about a virtual tour of the process in navigational order from the Beall Trailhead to the New Bridge:
Sustainable upgrades last year on Hemlock Spur Trail, including some 300+ feet of french drain.
Forest Restoration of an unsustainable grade on Hemlock Spur
New Trail Construction (This fall)
300 ft of ground hugging, tree winding boardwalk through a wetland
New Trail Construction (Last Fall)
Bridge across the Blackwater
Trail is Open!
This project was administered by the Heart of the Highlands Trail in partnership with the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge and a private property owner. Please take a moment to learn a bit about the project details at their website, and be sure to respect the generous support of the private property owner by using the trail he has granted us access through and not the rest of his property. No off trail travel is permitted.