Get outside on trails, southern West Virginia awaits

Spring has sprung and that means we’ll soon ‘Celebrate Trails Day.’ There are endless benefits to spending time outdoors.

Nature’s calming effect paired with physical activity does wonders. So take a walk on a trail. When we get outside good things happen.

On April 27 you’ll have the chance to join the city of Oak Hill in celebration of their White Oak Rail Trail.

“The other thing that happens is we connect with our communities in such meaningful ways when we are out on the trail. You don’t often see people who are not happy in those spaces,” said Brandi Horton, Rails and Trails Conservancy’s vice president of communications. “There’s a shared experience of joy when we’re outside and helpfulness that is so rich and so important to building connections where we live.”

It’s also a way to support small businesses and drive the local economy.

“Retail shops and eateries and restaurants and breweries pop up along the trail to support those needs, to support the people who are out there,” Horton said. “It’s also really important to building quality of life, sense of place, pride of place.”

‘Celebrate Trails Day’ is a beautiful opportunity to enjoy all the ways trails are transforming our lives.

“It’s making a difference in day-to-day lives and we need more support and more resources to create trails in places where they don’t exist, to connect trails so people can use that infrastructure as part of their day-to-day lives and to maintain that infrastructure so we’ve got it for future generations,” said Horton.

The Raccoon River Valley in Iowa is Horton’s favorite trail, almost 100 miles through farmland and rural landscapes.

“Feel like it captures the spirit of the potential of trails, all across the country in such a unique way,” Horton said.

The VP of Communications recommends RTC’s (Traillink) app for comprehensive information you need to plan your trip.

“One of the greatest values of multi-use trails is that they really are accessible to so many people,” said Horton. “Typically a harder surface, typically at a lower grade — which makes it so that people of all different abilities can get out in these spaces and experience nature.”


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