The recent floods, devastating to so many the state, have also taken a major toll on many of West Virginia’s recreational resources.
The Greenbrier River Trail, especially the southern end below Anthony, was heavily impacted. According to Information presented by Sam England, director of state parks at a Greenbrier County Commission meeting on July 12, a slide near milepost 13 is 400 feet long and 150 feet high. In addition, there are other repairs needed to a total of 12 washed out culverts on the lower end of the trail. In total, repairs to the trail may cost over $2 million. Seventy-five percent of this amount will likely be reimbursable by FEMA, but the state must meet their guidelines and spend the money first.
While the trail is open north of Anthony, the damage on the lower end has forced the closing the trail until the slides and washouts can be repaired. Trail enthusiasts and outfitters are anxious to have the work on the lower end begin, and they have set up a Facebook page “Heal the Greenbrier River Trail,” where people can volunteer by posting a comment.
Most recently, residents have been trying to find a site near Anthony out of the floodplain to dump the dirt from what Jody Spencer, trail superintendent, called “The Mother of all Landslides.” According to Spencer, work has begun in concert with the city of Lewisburg to make some repairs to the trail around Milepost 4 near the water plant at Caldwell.
The Greenbrier River Trail Association host a public meeting on Monday, July 25, at 5 p.m. in the city council chamber in Lewisburg City Hall. Interested citizens are welcome to attend and share ideas on ways they can work with the state to expedite repairs.
The Greenbrier River Trail Association, organizers of the annual Great Greenbrier River Race, has cooperated with the state on many needed projects on the trail for over 30 years, including the most recent purchase of land for a bigger parking lot at the Caldwell terminus, and on trailhead improvement projects, interpretive signs, restrooms, drinking water, shelters and resurfacing.
Association President Leslee McCarty said, “We are concerned about the temporary loss of use of the southern end of the trail, but optimistic that by working together with the state and many motivated residents, we will come back even stronger”
For more information, email the Greenbrier River Trail Association at firstname.lastname@example.org.