MRTC is working with other trail agencies and communities to see further development of the rail-trail into Preston County, WV to the east, Marion County, WV to the south, and Fayette County, PA to the north. The opportunities to extend or link to other rail-trails are a challenging undertaking that often involves private property negotiations, corridor purchase, and/ or easement agreements. While some connections are solely proposed and have no planning or negotiations taking place, others have been over 15 years in the works with new trail construction immanent.
SHEEPSKIN RAIL-TRAIL– in development with some sections open
This Pennsylvania rail-trail once complete would run 34 miles from the WV/PA state line to the Great Allegheny Passage at Connellsville, PA. The nearly 2 mile section linking to the Mon River Rail-Trail from the WV/PA state line to Point Marion, PA is open. The trail is being developed in sections with 2.1 miles currently built on the northern end to Dunbar, PA and several miles built in South Union Township. http://www.sheepskintrail.org
MARION COUNTY TRAIL LINK – PRICKETT’S FORT TRAILHEAD – completed
At Prickett’s Fort State Park is a short 650-foot connector trail and trailhead that connects the Mon River Rail-Trail (mile 29) to the Marion County Trail which is a 2.5 mile rail-trail that ends at the east end of Fairmont (Winfield Street). The Marion County Trail is managed by Marion County Parks and Recreation Commission. http://www.mcparc.com
MARION COUNTY TRAIL LINK – PALENTINE PARK – proposed
A proposed trail that would continue the Mon River Rail-Trail along the Monongahela River and ultimately link to Palentine Park in Fairmont, WV. This project would require several easements through private property. The trail has been mapped and conversations have begun with property owners.
DECKERS CREEK RAIL-TRAIL- KINGWOOD EXTENSION– proposed
This proposed trail is the most challenging on this list. The Deckers Creek Rail-Trail currently ends just past Morgan Mine Road in Preston County. The missing link between current trail end and Kingwood, WV is sectioned out to 13 private landholders. There is no current negotiations or planning taking place but it stays as a proposed rail-trail. Friends of the Cheat and Preston County Parks and Recreation Commission would take the lead on any plans and negotiations. http://www.cheat.org/recreation/trails/
OTHER RAIL-TRAILS in PRESTON COUNTY– in development
WV NORTHERN RAIL-TRAIL- KINGWOOD to TUNNELTON
CHEAT RIVER RAIL-TRAIL
INDUSTRIAL HEARTLAND TRAILS COALITION (IHTC): PARKERSBURG TO PITTSBURGH TRAIL CORRIDOR
The IHTC envisions a network of trails that stretch from the shores of Lake Erie to the confluence of Three Rivers in Pittsburgh and on to the Ohio River in the Appalachian foothills of West Virginia. The Mon River Rail-Trail is part of the Parkersburg to Pittsburgh Trail corridor that would connect the North Bend Rail-Trail, West Fork River Trail, Sheepskin Trail, and the Great Allegheny Passage.
The IHTC’s 1,450-mile network will span 48 counties across parts of 4 states: western Pennsylvania, northern West Virginia, eastern Ohio, and the south-western corner of New York. Pittsburgh will serve as the network’s hub, with trails radiating out of the metro area and connecting to Cleveland, Akron and Ashtabula in Ohio, Morgantown and Parkersburg in West Virginia, and Erie in Pennsylvania. These are communities with a shared past, present and future: of innovation, steel, agriculture, manufacturing, boom, bust, reinvention, renewal, and innovation once more. Ihearttrails.org