Officials Saint Albans are inviting the public to attend a rededicated ceremony for its Nature Trail at city park Oct. 4 following a $200,000 upgrade.
Thanks to a West Virginia Recreational Trails Grant administered by the state Division of Highways and Department of Transportation, the park has repaired and replaced three bridges, replaced trailside benches, improved tread and drainage, installed safety rails, replaced directional and informational signs, and installed an accessible fountain and rest area.
Kevin Pennington, superintendent of Saint Albans Parks and Recreation, thanked park staff, trail enthusiasts, and the many volunteers who've worked on the trail.
“The Nature Trail has been closed to the public for nearly 18 months so these much-needed repairs and upgrades could be completed," Pennington said.
"Trail users from all over West Virginia use this trail. It is so valuable for promotion of fitness, stress relief, education, and fun. We greatly appreciate the help of everyone that has made the achievement of this wonderful project possible."
The one-mile Nature Trail is one of several that wanders the 85-acre park, which also includes a swimming pool, playgrounds, picnic shelters, baseball and softball fields, a swimming pool, disc golf course, dog park, and an amphitheater that hosts summer production by the Alban Arts and Conference Center.
Park trails also host many events, including the annual "Take A Walk On The Wild Side" Spring Nature Hike, held the first Saturday of April and featuring group hikes led by area naturalists, and a Haunted Trail, held the last two weekends in October and attracting many thousands of visitors. Several collegiate trail runs and "extreme" runs are also hosted.
The park's Festival Of Lights, which opens the weekend after Thanksgiving and remains open until Christmas, is another favorite community event.
The rededication ceremony will be held from 4-6 p.m. Friday, October 4, and will include refreshments, guests from the Alban Arts and Conference Center, and bluegrass music with "The High Country Revival" band as well as a demonstration of canine rescue with W.Va. K-9 Rescue and children's activities, including face painting and an inflatable room.
The park and hiking trails are open from daylight to dark each day and there is no charge to enjoy them.
Additional information is available about the park and other Saint Albans Parks and Recreation events and activities by calling the parks office at 304-722-4625 or visiting them online at StAlbanswv.com.