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New trail in works for Hatfield-McCoy system

J.D. CharlesFor The Logan Banner

May 19, 2013

WAR, W.Va. (AP) — Another addition to the Hatfield-McCoy Trail system in southern West Virginia is in the works.


Hatfield-McCoy Trail Authority executive director Jeff Lusk said trail officials are collaborating with the town of War and the McDowell County Commission on the 80-mile section.


Lusk told the Bluefield Daily Telegraph that the new, unnamed trail will connect the communities of War, Gary and Welch. It would be a stand-alone trail when it opens, but the hope is to connect it to the 63-mile Indian Ridge System that opened in 2007 near Northfork.


“The more communities you connect through the trail system, the more opportunities there are for expansion and entrepreneurs,” Lusk said. “This will help the overall health of the trail system.”


Grant funds and right-of-way agreements must be in place before construction can begin, he said.


The Hatfield-McCoy system has more than 600 miles of trails in seven counties and attracts more than 30,000 visitors annually, mostly from out of state.


The 75-mile Ivy Branch Trail System for bigger vehicles such as Jeeps and Humvees is expected to open in mid-July in Lincoln County, less than 20 miles south of Charleston. Those vehicles are too wide for the system’s other trails that are open to all-terrain vehicles, dirt and mountain bikes, horses and hikers.


Ivy Branch will connect to the Little River Coal Trail System near U.S. 119.