BUCKHANNON — The COVID-19 pandemic has put a damper on many things, but the Upshur County Trails system is not one of them. The Upshur County Trails (UCT) volunteer group, also known as the “Trail Crew,” have been working on restoring the 6 miles of hiking, biking, and running trails at the Upshur County Recreation Park adjacent to Buckhannon-Upshur High School since 2015.
“Since the pandemic started and many events were cancelled, we have seen a huge surge in trail use! We have people coming from all over Upshur County, many neighboring counties, and several from other states,” stated UCT volunteer Rachel Weber.
The group recently received a $2,896.02 grant from Try This WV. This money will be utilized toward improving directional signs along the trails, installing kiosks with trail maps and an archway over the main trail entrance, as well as establishing native wildflowers along the trail. Weber explained that Buckhannon City Council also recently signed a lease with an adjoining landowner, granting access to 260 acres of additional land for trails.
There are currently some features along the trail for mountain biking skills, as well as a lot of wildlife, plants and fungus to observe. These trails are a great place to get some fresh air, as well as hiking, trail running, and mountain biking. It is the perfect opportunity to explore nature locally and for free!
The group is currently creating a virtual fundraiser for the trails, called UCT Razin’ Trail. Weber said money raised will be used towards the needs of future trail building and trail maintenance projects, such as purchasing materials for bridges. The UCT Razin’ Trail virtual event will take place from October 17 through November 8. This event will be geared towards encouraging more people to get out on the trails to run, bike or hike. All participants will receive a t-shirt and a sticker for $35, and for an additional $15, they can also receive a trucker hat. Participants will also be entered for a chance to win some prizes, donated by local businesses. “It is a way to introduce people to the trails, while helping to raise money for future projects,” Weber exclaimed. Participants can sign up at https://runsignup.com/Race/WV/Buckhannon/UCTRaizinTrail?remMeAttempt=. The deadline to register is October 26.
The group also meets for a monthly “trail workday,” which is announced on their “Upshur County Trail” Facebook page. Trail workdays typically take place on Saturdays, for a couple of hours. “We love to have people come out and help with weed trimming, digging, litter pick-up, etc.” she explained. If you’re a mountain biker, they also have a group that meets every Wednesday evening at 6:00 p.m. Follow their Facebook page for updates and pictures of their progress.