BREAKING NEWS: West Virginia Northern Rail-Trail purchased by Friends of the Cheat and the Preston County Parks and Recreation Commission! Read full press release here.
Running from Kingwood to Tunnelton, the former West Virginia/Kingwood Northern rail-trail is a 10-mile scenic greenway. Trail development will enhance the Preston County community and advance the revitalization of blighted maintenance facilities. The non-motorized rail-trail will provide a safe corridor for exercise and short distance travel promoting health and wellness and walkable communities and creating economic opportunity though recreation related business. The line features a rare switch-back and was once operated as a scenic railroad.
Painting of the WV Northern shops area by Kingwood native, Marcy Miller Matherne who has graciously donated this print for reproduction to be sold as a fundraiser for the Kingwood-Tunnelton rail-trail project.
The gem of Friends of the Cheat’s rail-trail projects is the Cheat River rail-trail, an approximate eight-mile corridor paralleling the Cheat River from Manheim to Morgan Run. The corridor is nearly flat with outstanding natural scenery and access to the Cheat River Narrows. This greenway is a top priority among FOC’s recreation projects and has been slowly progressing for over a decade. The cooperation and commitment of Greer Industries is integral to the advancement of this project. In 2012, the West Virginia State Rail Authority agreed to own the property with FOC serving as the Trail Manager. The purchase of the property from CSXT is pending.
When completed, the non-motorized rail-trail will offer unparalleled access to the unique and beautiful Cheat River and link to FOC’s Preston Site project which includes plans for a trail-head and long term dream of a Cheat River Interpretive Center to house the offices of FOC.
Simply put, a Water Trail is a trail for boats. The Upper Cheat River Water Trail stretches nearly 40 miles from the Black Fork in Hendricks to Rowlesburg. This section of the Cheat boasts an active fishery and meanders through picturesque hills including areas of the Monongahela National Forest. You do not need to be a paddling expert to enjoy this section of the Cheat River. The Upper Cheat River Water Trail is family friendly (Class I-II) and offers great opportunities for fishing, swimming, and paddling.
Visit the trail’s brand new website, funded with support from the Tucker County CVB.
Seven Islands area of the UCRWT – Photo by Kent Mason