POINT PLEASANT — Mason County Tourism Director Denny Bellamy announced plans for a bike trail and a water trail leading to Point Pleasant.
Rivers to Ridges Heritage Trail, which is a group serving Mason, Putnam and Kanawha counties, is building the trails. Bellamy is the chairman of the organization.
Bellamy said the water trail, which will be formally named the Lower Kanawha Water Trail, will begin at the Buffalo Riverfront and go to Point Pleasant River Front Park. The main idea for the water trail is to give people places to kayak along the Kanawha River. The entire water trail will be around 20 miles long, with exits every five miles.
The bike trail will be around 30 miles and will run on the old sections of Route 35 from the Winfield Locks to Point Pleasant. Bellamy said the bike trail will be marked soon where the new sections of Route 35 are open. Bellamy said there is hardly any traffic on the old sections of Route 35, which makes it safe for the bicyclists.
Bellamy said the Rivers to Ridges Heritage Trail group would be hiring a director for the water and bike trails soon. The director will be speaking with councils, commissioners and businesses about the trails. They will also be creating maps, guides, kiosks and signs along the trails.
Bellamy said they are expecting the trails to be popular for adventure tourism in West Virginia. He believes this will boost the visitors in Point Pleasant when people arrive there on their kayaks and bicycles. Bellamy is expecting the kayakers to have someone waiting in Point Pleasant to pick them up when they finish the water trail, which he believes is also likely to boost the economy in the city.
Bellamy is hoping to have the Lower Kanawha Water Trail ready in May.
Bellamy said the preparation for the water trail started before the community realized, citing the Yak Shack and kayak rentals at Krodel Park.
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Kayla Hawthorne is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.