| The Governor thanked the state and local officials who supported the project and were in attendance for Tuesday’s event, including West Virginia House of Delegates Speaker Roger Hanshaw, Delegate Brent Boggs, Clay County Business Development Authority President Mitch DeBoard, members of the Clay County Commission, and officials from the Town of Clay. The Governor also thanked FEMA for providing the funding needed to complete the project.
“All of the work that’s going on along Buffalo Creek and the Elk River is really coming together,” Gov. Justice said during Tuesday’s briefing. “Clay County can already see a difference in the number of people that are visiting that area.”
In May 2019, Gov. Justice
announced plans to build a major rail trail along the Elk River and Buffalo Creek in the same area. This project, which is currently underway, aims to utilize 72 miles of existing rail lines in Clay and Kanawha counties and either repurpose the tracks for recreational purposes or convert them into trails for walking, hiking, biking, and more.
The planned trail network has the potential to become the second-longest rail trail east of the Mississippi.
“We’re really proud of all the stuff that’s going on,” Gov. Justice said. “It’s a big deal for tourism in West Virginia.”
West Virginia Department of Tourism Secretary Chelsea Ruby and West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Director Stephen McDaniel were also on-hand for Tuesday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony.