RICHWOOD – The Rahall Transportation Institute is nearing the end of a yearlong feasibility study on the creation of an ATV trail in central West Virginia that could go through parts of Nicholas, Webster, and Lewis counties.
At a presentation Thursday night, RHI Trails Program Manager Amanda Lynch explained to stakeholders and the public what the feasibility study had accomplished thus far.
“Where are the large tracks of parcel?” she asked. “Where are the amenities? Where is the lodging? Where are the restaurants? Where is the possibility of a contiguous trail system? Is it possible for a sustainable trail system in this area?”
Several county commissioners and state Senator Greg Boso (R-Nicholas, 11) attended the meeting to get a full update on the RHI feasibility study. Boso, a lifelong Nicholas County resident, said the massive coal losses need to be offset–and this is as good a place as any to begin.
“West Virginia has taken it on the chin,” he said. “And we’ve got to find new ways to diversify our economy, be able to draw people from outside the state into the state, and do it in a fairly economical fashion so we can begin growing West Virginia–essentially central West Virginia.”
The Nicholas County Commission paid for a feasibility study that directly studies it’s economic impact in the county. Senator Boso believes that study will help set the groundwork for other counties where the trail could potentially go…
The feasibility study ends in December. Findings could be presented during the next legislative session.