Little Coal River Trail System in Boone County and Ivy Branch Trail System in Lincoln County will be closing down effective Monday, Oct. 19, 2015, according to officials with The Hatfield McCoy Trails.
“The authority received notice from the landowners that it would be necessary to close these two trail systems due to changing ownership of the property and its future uses,” said Jeffrey Lusk, executive director of Hatfield McCoy Trails in a press release.
All other trail systems and the remaining 500 miles of trail will be open to riders with no changes, he said.
“We appreciate the landowners for allowing us to use their property for the past twelve years,” Lusk said. “They have been very good partners with the trails as have all the 96 coal, timber, natural gas and land holding companies that allow the Hatfield McCoy Trails to use their property.”
Lusk said The Hatfield McCoy Trails hopes to find similar property in these areas to open new trail systems in the near future.
No other details regarding the closure of the two trail systems was released. The Ivy Branch location was one of the newest for trial system.
The Hatfield McCoy Trail System is a statutory corporation created by the West Virginia Legislature to generate economic development through tourism in nine southern West Virginia counties.
As of 2013, the Hatfield McCoy Trail System covered more than 700 miles of off-road trails in seven of its nine project counties. All of the trail systems are open 365 days a year to ATVs, dirt bikes, and utility vehicles (UTVs). Many of the trail systems also offer community connecting trails that allow visitors to access “ATV-friendly towns” to experience the charm of southern West Virginia.
The eight Hatfield McCoy trail systems are Rockhouse, Buffalo Mountain, Bearwallow, Indian Ridge, Little Coal, Pocahontas, Pinnacle Creek, and Ivy Branch. Now, Little Coal and Ivy Branch will be closed.
The overall goal of the Hatfield McCoy Trails project was to develop a world-class trail system with an emphasis on safety in each of its nine project counties throughout southern West Virginia. Project estimates have concluded that once the trails are developed and linked, there may be as much as 2,000 total miles of trails.
Fred Pace is an editor for Civitas Media. He can be reached at 304-369-1165, ext. 1661, in Madison; at 304-752-6950, ext. 1729 in Logan; by email at [email protected] or @fcpace62 on Twitter.