Iconic boardwalk in Webster Springs reopens due to librarian’s hard work

Lover’s Lane via Webster Springs Facebook group


In February of this year, I wrote a story about David M. Gillespie, PhD, a retired university librarian and a native of Webster Springs, who was on a mission to bring an iconic local boardwalk back to life for his community.

The original boardwalk was built after the Civil War — from the town to the B.C. Conrad Hotel and grist mill, a distance of about 3/4 of a mile, along the mountainside, and the Back Fork of Elk River. The boardwalk provided a dry place to walk, considering the roadway was muddy year round. In the 1890’s, the town rebuilt the walk, and it became known as Lover’s Lane. The boardwalk lasted until 1940.

For the past five years, Dr. Gillespie has been acquiring and leasing the land where the original boardwalk was built and to rebuild Lover’s Lane.

This week, the boardwalk officially reopened to the community.

The final project is 2 miles long with a combination of walking trail plus the boardwalk. Through Dr. Gillespie’s work, Lover’s Lane has been enhanced with two rain shelters, benches, and two overlooks. It also features two swinging pedestrian bridges.

Want to check out Lover’s Lane Boardwalk in Webster Springs?

Lover’s Lane starts on Back Fork Street which is across from Minnich’s Florist (115 N Main St, Webster Springs, WV 26288) and is a 100-yard walk past the Webster Springs Post Office (100 Back Fork St, Webster Springs, WV 26288).

It is easily accessible from two locations: for those on foot, head to either of the two swinging bridges located on Bennett Avenue. For those needing wheelchair access, head to Bell Street (7/10 miles out).

For additional information, contact Dr. David M. Gillespie, at 681-213-1205.

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