Hatfield-McCoy prepares for annual Trailfest
by John Conley
Trailfest is coming up in Gilbert this weekend, and Hatfield-McCoy Trails Exective Director encourages Gilbert and Wyoming County residents to check out the fun.
“This is the 11th year of Trailfest, and it’s off to a great start,” Lusk stated.
“It’s been highly successful and we look for over 2,000 riders to converge on the town of Gilbert,” he added.
“The ground will be completely open this year,” Lusk said. “Local people from Gilbert and Wyoming County can come up without paying a fee to see the fireworks on Saturday night or come up the mud pit to watch.
“There is still a participation free, but just to watch is free,” he added.
He said Gilbert deserves credit for the event’s success.
“The volunteers and the lodging available are what make it go,” he remarked. “And the West Virginia fall foliage makes it a premium time to come and ride.”
On the Wyoming County front, lodging continues to be the greatest need.
“We are in desperate need of lodging in Mullens and Pineville,” said Lusk. “We just don’t have the lodging we need for the fall and spring of the year.
“If we could get the lodging we need,” he pointed out,” we could have 10 to 15 percent growth per year.”
The Twin Falls Resort State Park connector to the trail is expected to be complete by the end of this year.
“People will be able to commute and ride out to the trail,” Lusk stated.
“We have to purchase some timber, and it should take a month to build it,” he observed.
Lusk hopes to see approval for mapping an Oceana trail in this quarter.
“It’s a first step and doesn’t mean that a trail will definitely be built,” he commented.
The Mercer County trail, the system’s newest, opened in May and another will open in Lincoln County next year.
Lusk is pleased with the system’s continued increase in permit sales. “We’re up 12 percent even though the national economy is puttering along,” he said. “We’re continuing to grow.
“We think next year is going to be a banner year,” he stated.
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