Preston Trail Towns Program


Want to help out now? Take the Preston Trail Towns Survey! It only takes a minute or two, and it helps us hit the ground running!



The Preston Trail Towns Program was initiated as part of a $3.2 million grant in 2019 from the WVDEP Abandoned Mine Lands Pilot Program to build a nine-mile rail-trail along the Cheat River from Manheim (across the river from Rowlesburg) to just upstream of the Route 7/Caddell Bridge.  In addition to funding the actual construction of the rail-trail, the grant also supported the formation of the Preston Trail Towns Program, which works with Preston County communities along the trail to connect the trail to towns and towns to the trail.



The Preston Trail Town Program builds on the legacy of other successful Trail Town Programs, particularly the Trail Town Program established along the Great Allegheny Trail from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, MD which has breathed new life into countless small towns along this popular rail-trail.  

The Preston Trail Town Program is grounded in the following principles of successful community development:

                                         Improve Parks & Amenities

                                         Build Trail-Friendly Businesses

                                         Turn Community Ideas into Action

How it Works


The Preston Trail Town Program follows the highly successful approaches used across rural America.  

We work with a specific mission in mind: to assist communities in visualizing, analyzing, identifying projects, and choosing potential futures for their communities.  

We follow an established Main Street sequence of steps: Organizing, community-led assessment, design, partnerships, small business development, and marketing.

In 2020, the Preston Trail Town Program will be:

  1. Presenting to local elected officials, the business community, and civic groups
  2. Facilitating community-led Trail Towns Needs Assessment meetings
  3. Convening Community Action Teams and PTT Advisory Committee
  4. Work with Community Action Teams to identify Trail Town projects
  5. Administer Community-based mini-grants program to fund projects
  6. Completing a visitor and resident tourism survey to assess County-level opportunities and needs


Participating in Preston Trail Towns Program


We need your participation for Preston Trail Towns to be successful!  Please join us by adding your voice to our community discussions.  We have many ways to engage!  Reach out to us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.  Complete our Preston Trail Town tourism survey (provide link).  Join us in a Community-led Trails Town Needs Assessments Meeting (dates to be announced); Join a Community Action Team or Preston Trail Town Advisory Committee.  We look forward to working with you as we build recreational trails and community across Preston County!