Fayette County commissioner puts out plan for two bike parks

FAYETTE COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – Fayette County Commissioner Tom Louisos sent out a press release on Wednesday about what he thinks the county should do in trail development moving forward.

He is going to propose that the county focus on two soft-surface bike parks for future development.

He wants one at the Fayette County Park and one between Ansted and Smithers where the two rivers meet. 

He says the county should focus on the Fayette County Park first.

“You could have a rolling flat surface like they have out in Colorado and then you could use the mountain as trails coming down the mountain with technical obstacles and stuff like that but as far as the park, it needs an update and if we’re going to use county money, that’s the place it needs to be spent first,” Louisos said. 

Here is the full release: 

After listening to different trail enthusiasts and Danny Twilley from OEDC talk about soft- surface trails and the recommendation for the commission to come up with two or three property options to develop a soft-surface bike trail on and authorize to hire a consultant to prepare soft-surface trail plans and cost estimate to develop, and after pondering on the conversation and a little research; if possible, what I would like to see the commission do is authorize two properties for two separate revenue-generating bike park developments, one on each side of the river.

 

Since this is a county-funded project, I would like to see the first property located at the Fayette County Park.  The park property has over 500 plus feet in elevation drop and approximately 750 acres with infrastructure and assets that will make it more cost efficient to develop compared to other properties. This property also has a full-time staff that manages the park and would fall right into place managing the bike park. I would like to see the second property location development between Smithers and Ansted preferably where  the Gauley and New River meet. I would like this property to have a 1,000 plus feet drop in elevation for the extreme mountain biker with steep, technical to long extreme designs.

 

Everyone knows I am a big fan of connecting trails throughout the county.  Presently, we have 162 miles of Mountain Bike trails, 18 miles of Rail Trails, and 53 miles of Share the Road trails totaling 234 miles of trails. Many more miles of mountain bike trails, rail trails and share the road trails should be built in the county.  A comprehensive plan is needed to connect all of these trail assets.

 

Wolf Creek Park trails is the perfect example of what needs to be between every municipality. If the Fayette County Park Bike Trail Project is feasible, I believe it will set the foundation to bring revenue that could develop and maintain trails for all ages throughout the county. I also think the county should adopt the Mountain State Trail Alliance vision map as the county trail plan to build mountain bike parks and connect the towns throughout the county with trails.

The county commission plans to discuss this further on September 4.

Anna Saunders
Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.