A group of Rails to Trails advocates recently received assurances from Clarksburg City Manager Tom Vidovich and Mayor Terry Greaver that the city has a strong plan in place that identifies Glen Elk as a trailhead that could provide many amenities for trail users.
This is good news for the county because it only makes sense for Clarksburg to become a trailhead when pushing a plan to connect trails throughout the region.
Clarksburg's leaders also discussed a second city trailhead at Veterans Memorial Park, and those attending a meeting Tuesday night agreed this hub was crucial to extending the trail in all directions within the county.
Harrison County Parks and Recreation Commission member Mike Romano was on target when he said that a coordinated effort is needed to establish a strategic plan for Rails to Trails in Harrison County.
If our leaders play their cards correctly, Rails to Trails eventually will provide much needed recreational outlets for county residents, and it should benefit the local economy. Advocates for the Rails to Trails program also agreed that trails enhance property values, lower crime and beautify neighborhoods.
City leaders, county businesses and citizens will have to put their heads together to come up with a viable plan for funding, which was identified as the biggest obstacle to establishing Clarksburg as a trail hub.
While agreements need to be ironed out with CSX Railroad, Allegheny Power and landowners, we're sure these can be hammered out.
Some funding sources have already been found, and money has been secured for portions of the project.
We're hopeful city and county officials can come up with other creative funding mechanisms to make this plan a reality.
Clarksburg is well on its way to becoming a vital cog in the regional Rails to Trails system, and we should applaud the many fine organizations and people who have made this possible.