Thirteen years after the first trail opened to the public, the Hatfield-McCoy trail system continues to grow. Jeff Lusk, the executive director of the trail says annual permit sales are up this year 13 percent compared to last year, and 81 percent of riders are non-West Virginia residents.
Lusk says it’s now the largest managed trail system in the eastern U.S. and contains 600 miles of trails that connect to 11 incorporated towns. This year more than 35,000 ATV and UTV enthusiasts traveled the trails.
The one-problem trail officials are citing is that currently there are 44 lodging providers that have opened up shop since 2000. That adds up to 1,000 beds, but Lusk says that’s still not enough. He believes if all the trail communities had lodging, the sky would be the limit for the trail system. However, he said, just like vacationing at the beach, if you can’t find a place to stay near the water, there’s no reason to go.
As for the future, four new trails are planned. The trailheads will be in Matewan, War, Oceana and East Lynn Lake.