BUCKHANNON — The Upshur County Trails group recently announced that they’re hosting a “First Day Hoke or Mountain Bike Ride” on New Year’s Day, 2022 at noon.
The event can cover various lengths, dependent upon the hiker or biker. Leaders at the event will provide some insight and allow individuals to duck out early if necessary. Hikers and bikers will meet near the trail archway, located across from the Buckhannon-Upshur High School football field. Hikers and bikers are encouraged to bring food, water and appropriate attire. The event will be postponed if weather is an issue.
This idea was originally presented to the trails group by Executive Director of the Upshur County CVB Laura Meadows. She approached the group about this idea based on prior events that she had seen across West Virginia state parks. Upshur County Trails volunteer Rachel Weber explained, “I thought that it was a great idea, and also thought that the mountain bike group would like to hold a first day ride.” She added that the group was under budget for their most recent Try This West Virginia mini-grant on the machine rental and, with the extra funds, they have purchased some Upshur County Trail “swag” for participants of the First Day Hike or Mountain Bike Ride. Weber is hopeful the event will get people outside on the first day of the year and added, “It will be a great way to introduce people to the Upshur County Trails if they have not yet been there!”
The group received their second Try This WV mini grant for $3,000 and with this funding, they added more native plants to trail network, as well as completed the addition of a new one-mile section of trail. Although it won’t be ready for use until Spring 2022, this new segment of trail will increase the total mileage of their trail system to approximately eight miles. With the help of a heavy equipment rental and 15 volunteers, this section was built in the fall over a nine-day period. Weber explained, “In addition, there is still some work on this trail segment that needs to be completed before it will be open to public use, such as adding culverts to help with drainage and building small bridges over streams. Once the trail is open to the public, it will be announced on the Upshur County Trails Facebook page.”
The final part of their Try This WV mini-grant funds will be utilized for bridge construction material on the new trail section and for updated mapping.
The trails have continued to attract several individuals from Upshur County but from surrounding counties as well. For lovers of the trail system and those who have yet to experience, head out to the First Day Hike or Mountain Bike ride on January 1, 2022. Join the Upshur County Trails Facebook page for updates.