The Highlands Trail Foundation is ready to welcome spring with a new event and lots of good news for the Allegheny Highlands Trail!
On April 25, we will host cyclists for the first ever Ramps & Rail + Trail ride. Held in conjunction with the Ramps & Rail Festival in Elkins, this event will offer two scenic and supported rides on the AHT and connecting country roads.
Other 2015 events include the 5th annual Allegheny Highlands Trail Bluegrass Festival on Aug. 22 and the Sept. 25 Blackwater Canyon Bike Ride. This year’s trail fest will be very special as we celebrate HTF’s 20th birthday. Please plan to join the party in Montrose. Details for all three events will be posted on Facebook and sent to our email list. Not on the list? Send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support of the AHT Fest made it possible for us to recruit AmeriCorps members to assist with program activities in 2015. We now have a fabulous new mobile-friendly website designed by Bree Wallace at www.highlandstrail.org. Kara Baldwin is helping with events and will design a new bike route map for the Elkins area. We are very fortunate to have these talented young women working with us!
Although it is not yet visible, we have made considerable progress toward meeting trail development and maintenance goals, thanks to help from two very good friends: the Randolph County Development Authority and the West Virginia Division of Highways.
Design of the RCDA’s Rail-Trail Connector project is nearing completion. Supported by a Recreational Trails Grant and the WVDOH, this project will complete the AHT from Highland Park to its final southern terminus at the Elkins Depot. No construction date has been announced, but we are looking forward to completion of this long-awaited project and will share news as soon as it is available.
The RCDA and WVDOH have also partnered to support maintenance work on the AHT. Maintenance will address problem areas created by erosion, and may also improve trail surface. Work is expected to begin in 2015. The HTF is grateful to the RCDA and WVDOH for their ongoing support.
Other exciting projects are now in progress.
The HTF is working in partnership with Elkins ON TRAC on the Bicycle-Pedestrian Connections Project in downtown Elkins. This project seeks to increase bicycle and pedestrian access to the downtown area. HTF will help designate and map a bike route connecting parks, schools and neighborhoods to the heart of downtown Elkins at the railroad depot.
Membership and participation in events support the HTF’s ongoing work to provide quality recreational trail opportunities in the Potomac Highlands of West Virginia. Your 2014 membership is now expired. We sincerely hope that you will renew it for 2015. Renewals may be made by check mailed to the above address or by credit card on our membership page.
Thank you for your continued membership and support of the Highlands Trail Foundation.
Karen Carper, President