Morgantown’s rail-trails have made life here so much better. Since the 50-mile network’s first section opened in 1998, the Deckers Creek Trail, the Caperton Trail along the Mon River, and the Mon River Trail continuing north and south from that have given us paths from A to B that are scenic and relaxing rather than gasoline-fueled and hectic. They’ve probably added years to many of our lives.
Rail-trails are, of course, based on abandoned parts of the nation’s railroad network. So when enough local rail-trails are in place, trail advocates start to think regional.
Morgantown sits at the center of a next level of trail development, the 238-mile Parkersburg-to-Pittsburgh corridor. To our south, nearly 150 miles of trail between here and Parkersburg will be complete if only four gaps totalling 22 miles are filled, a project the national Rails-to-Trails Conservancy said in April is underway. And north of town, completion of just two gaps totalling 28 miles will connect Morgantown with the popular Great Allegheny Passage. The GAP connects Pittsburgh with Cumberland, Maryland, with further connection on the 185-mile C&O Canal Towpath to Washington, D.C. railstotrails.org
photo by Carla Witt Ford