Shelter now open at Meeks Mountain Trail System
HURRICANE, W.Va. (WSAZ) - The Meeks Mountain Trail System in Hurricane City Park is near completion.
Wednesday marked a major turning point in the system’s nearly five years in development with a ribbon cutting for the Huntington Federal Savings Bank Shelter on the trails.
The creation of the shelter started with the bank wanting to be a good neighbor when its Hurricane location opened in recent years.
“We wanted to find something within the community to get more involved and the Meeks hiking trail,” Huntington Federal President and CEO Matthew Wagner said. “We realized this was the place we wanted to start with.”
Development of the trail system has been driven entirely on efforts of 400 volunteers putting in nearly 14,000 service hours into the system’s creation.
Funding for the system came from local and regional companies, agencies and businesses.
Meeks Mountain Trail Alliance President Brandon Doerner said the trail system is designed to support hiking, mountain biking and runners.
He said outdoor experience fits in with West Virginia’s philosophy.
“What this is, this is a big vision, quality of life, West Virginians, deserving things like this off their front porch,” Doerner said. “Here’s a long list of companies here locally and outside the area that has contributed to this effort.”
He added, “That’s what community is all about, it’s not only bringing workers, city officials, groups, local outlets to get this together.”
Hurricane Mayor Scott Edwards said the trail system has already generated commerce in Hurricane, benefited Putnam County’s economy and brought a healthy lifestyle to visitors.
“I’ve met people here from Huntington, Charleston, Parkersburg, Beckley, met a group from Kentucky recently,” Edwards recalled. “They’re eating, shopping and spending time here which is really good they’ll spend a few days here and use the trail system, we see it as a big economic driver in the community and see it as a big opportunity in Hurricane.”
“Getting outdoors, I think people are getting back to that and exercise and fitness is extremely important,” Wagner said. “They were coming short a bit on funds and they needed some help to get it across the finish line.”
The last few miles of the trail system are expected to be finished by early 2023.
The first official race on the trail is the Hurricane 100K on Saturday, Sept. 10. Registration closes at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.
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