State gives City of Hinton Bateau Beach property to develop river access site

HINTON, WV (WOAY) – River enthusiasts are calling it an early Christmas present. The State of West Virginia has granted the City of Hinton the Bateau Beach property on the New River in the Avis area.

Part of it has been owned by the city while the big portion was owned by the state, but now the city will have the whole beach to further develop a river access site. 

“I’ve always said that if you live on the river, you’ve got a river town, you’ll never die,” Mayor Joe Blankenship said. “You’ll always have tourism people with boaters and you know, fishermen and so forth and that’s the case here.”

To expand upon that tourism boom, the city began making calls to see about acquiring the full land on the beach from the state.

This idea was hatched about 10 years ago from blueprints that Extension Agent Rick Moorefield had made. He and fellow water enthusiast Kent Bartgis began to advocate but said back then, there wasn’t as much interest.

“Now that all the emphasis is on the New River and all the white water rafting, anglers are coming in here by truckloads now, we felt it was a good time to approach the city,” Bartgis said. 

For those who aren’t into fishing or boating, the city has even bigger plans for land development.

“We’re also going to be writing some grants to get some funding for some bathrooms and picnic shelters and really fix it up nice, and it’s a much needed addition to that area as well as helpful for our tourists and boaters and fishermen here locally,” Mayor Blankenship said. 

The beach area is located behind Advanced Auto Parts and Save A Lot.

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.