Ribbon-cutting to be held for Preston County Rail-Trail

KINGWOOD — The Preston County Parks & Recreation Department is holding a ribbon-cutting for the Tunnelton Linear Park of the West Virginia Northern Rail-Trail at 1 p.m. today at 755 Campground Road. 

This project includes the construction of the rail-trail on this section, fitness stations, weather shelter, chess tables and bocce and corn-hole courts.  

Rachelle Thorne, executive director of PCPaRC, said the project was an ARPA funding project, and credited Tunnelton residents for their support.  

“The support of the local residents was a big help,” she said. “I don’t believe we would have been funded without their support. We don’t have a lot of land but we have a corridor that gives us 50 feet. That gives us space for activities along the trail. 

She said along with the new activities the former additions made by Tunnelton residents, like the book boxes and places to read, would still be there.  

“We’d like to get trail counters out so we can see how many people use the trail. I see people on it all of the time,” Thorne said. “I think the use of e-bikes have cut down the use of four-wheelers on the trail.” 

Side-by-sides and four-wheelers are not supposed to be on the trail.  

Thorn said after the ribbon-cutting, there will be free ice cream, kids’ activities and a tree-identification walk with County Commissioner Hunter Thomas. The 1.5-mile walk will include stops along the way to look at and interact with the new linear park amenities as well as a scavenger hunt option for kids.  

“Please extend an invitation to the ribbon-cutting to anyone you know who has been involved or interested in this project over the years and let all families in the county know they are invited to this free event,” she said. 

Thorne also gave an update about Wade’s World of Wonder. She said when constructed it will be located at the rail-trail Head Park.  

“We have a nice location, but the project is very expensive. We have submitted applications for grant funding and are waiting to hear back from them,” she said. 

According to the web site, the goal of Wade’s World of Wonder Playground is to “provide a common ground to enable all with special needs to forget about their daily challenges and celebrate their abilities while teaching the value of friendship and compassion. We aim to build an all-inclusive playground to inspire individuals of all ages and abilities.” 

 To make a donation to PCPaRC or to Wade’s World of Wonder Playground email [email protected] for information or mail a check to Preston Parks and Recreation, P.O. Box 94, Kingwood, WV 26537. Note which entity the donation is for.