PRINCETON, W.Va. — A proposed trial for hikers, cyclists and horseback riders could breathe new life into a nearly forgotten railroad in West Virginia.

Mercer County Commissioner Bill Archer tells The Bluefield Daily Telegraph that both Mercer and Summers counties are working to develop hiking and water trails, hoping to utilize an old railroad right of way to connect to Summers County trails. Archer says a 1991 court decision gave the county ownership of the right of way.

Archer says no motorized vehicles would be allowed on the trail.

Summers County Commissioner Jack David Woodrum says his county’s plan includes building up the Great Eastern Trial, which parallels the Appalachian Trail in Virginia’s Giles County.

Both counties plan to apply for state Department of Highway grants.

Information from: Bluefield Daily Telegraph,

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