LEWISBURG, W.Va. — A two-mile section of the Greenbrier River Trail near Lewisburg, West Virginia, is scheduled to reopen nine months ahead of schedule, allowing locals and tourists to fully access the popular trail for the Memorial Day weekend.
The trail had been closed from milepost 3.75 to milepost 5.53 to allow the City of Lewisburg to complete a $63-million project to accommodate increased water demand caused by tourism and economic development in the region.
Gov. Justice announced the project in 2022. Due to a mild winter, the work was able to be completed ahead of the scheduled end date of Feb. 29, 2024.
Brett McMillion, director of the W.Va. Department of Natural Resources, praised the city for its timely work. "The Greenbrier River Trail is known for its beauty and we are delighted to see it restored to its full glory,” McMillion said.
“I want to thank the City of Lewisburg and their contractors for completing this crucial infrastructure project in such a timely and efficient manner while minimizing impact so folks can get back out there and experience the trail they know and love.”
As part of the project, the Greenbrier River Trail has received notable improvements, including the construction of a new parking lot that adds more than 30 parking spaces, including two wheelchair-accessible sites.
The new parking lot on Harper Street at Hopper significantly enhances the accessibility of the trail for visitors.
Brad Reed, chief of West Virginia state parks, said he was pleased the project was completed in time for the summer tourism rush.
“As the longest trail of its kind in West Virginia, the Greenbrier River Trail is a recreational gem cherished by outdoor enthusiasts, locals, and tourists alike,” Reed said.
“The reopening of this section of the trail is a momentous occasion and its availability during the summer months will undoubtedly enhance the overall experience for all who visit the area."
In addition to fortifying the community’s water supply, the project included the addition of generators to provide uninterrupted power during outages.
James Bailey, secretary of the W.Va. Department of Commerce, emphasized the trail's economic importance to the state.
"The reopening of the Greenbrier River Trail is cause for celebration for all West Virginians who recognize the positive impact it has on our state,” Bailey said.
“This good news reinforces our commitment to fostering growth and prosperity in the region and we encourage everyone to experience the trail's natural splendor and contribute to the thriving economy of Lewisburg and West Virginia this summer."
As the trail section opens back up to the public, locals and visitors are invited to embark on an outdoor adventure, explore the Greenbrier River trail’s scenic beauty and enjoy the splendor the surrounding region has to offer. For more information about the Greenbrier River Trail, visit WVStateParks.com/greenbrier-river-trail.
The 78-mile trail, a former railroad, is now used exclusively for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. It is the longest trail of its kind in West Virginia and provides many breathtaking views as it passes through several small towns, crosses 35 bridges, goes through two tunnels, and cuts through some of West Virginia’s most remote areas.
The Greenbrier River Trail is one of 50 Millennium Legacy Trails in the United States and was rated one of the top 10 hiking trails in the country by Backpacker Magazine. Part of the trail lies within a National Radio Quiet Zone, in which cell phones do not work.
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