Grant will keep trail in good shape

We are fortunate in the Upper Ohio Valley to have so many community groups and governmental organizations contributing toward providing recreational opportunities for our residents.

Whether it is local event venues, parks and playgrounds, recreational trails, or races, there often is plenty to do and a variety of places to visit wherever we may live.

One such recreational opportunity continues to see support, both locally and at the state level, and we are glad for it.

In the last several years, our area has seen several recreational trails developed throughout Brooke, Hancock counties in West Virginia, Jefferson County in Ohio and Washington County in Pennsylvania.

This week, West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced $100,000 from the state’s 2012 Transportation Enhancement Grant Program would be used to assist with the costs of maintaining the Panhandle Trail, which begins in Weirton and leads into Pennsylvania.

The money will go toward the addition of two inches of crushed limestone to a 4.6 mile section of the trail, built on a stretch of former rail line. The hope is to have the resurfacing completed by spring.

The Panhandle Trail provides residents young and old with a place for exercise, through running or bicycling, or simply taking a nice stroll. Running for several miles just inside the Weirton city limits, the trail crosses into Pennsylvania where it leads to communities such as Burgettstown and McDonald. It intersects with the Montour Trail, providing access to a vast system of similar pathways throughout southwestern Pennsylvania.

We thank Tomblin, the City of Weirton and all those who have been involved in the Panhandle Trail from the beginning for continuing to provide such a valuable community resource for our area.

This grant and the consistent work to maintain the trail will make sure it remains available for our residents for years to come.