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Cacapon State Park Foundation wins award for mountain bike trail development

The Cacapon State Park Foundation (Foundation) has been selected as the recipient of the 2023 Coalition for Recreational Trails (CRT) Award for Trail Construction and Design.

The Foundation secured grants, including the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) Trail Accelerator grant, leading to the professional development of the Rock & Roll and Thunderstruck trails.

The Morgan County Commission, with $100,000 in financial support from the Hotel/Motel tax and other funds, also contributed to the trail development.

In 2022, the Foundation was awarded a Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grant, leading to the creation of the Middle Fork trail. Subsequent grants, including an EDA grant of $3.5 million, are set to contribute to the construction of an additional 35 miles of trails over the next three years.

“We are proud to have played a part in the success of Cacapon Resort State Park’s trail development,” said Brett McMillion, Director of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. “This award is a recognition of the collective effort that has made Cacapon a mountain biking destination for the eastern United States. This prestigious award is a testament to the Foundation’s commitment to trail development and its transformative impact on the community.”

A recent Economic Impact Study estimates an annual economic impact of $5.5 million on Morgan County, showcasing the positive effects of the trail system on the local economy.

Total funds raised through donations and grants to-date are $4,302,943.

So far, volunteers and paid trail workers have built 16.5 miles of mountain bike trails in the park.

Organizers estimate that over 6,000 hours of volunteer work have gone into the mountain bike trail project since 2017.

“This award is a testament to the incredible teamwork, dedication and support we have received from members of the Cacapon State Park Foundation, volunteers, local officials and various organizations,” said Mark Hoyle, a member of the Cacapon State Park Foundation and the lead on developing mountain bike trails at Cacapon. “Our goal was not just to build trails but to create a mountain biking destination that would benefit the entire community and leave a lasting legacy.”

Mark Hoyle with award.

The awards ceremony took place on March 7. It honored outstanding projects in various categories, including Construction and Design, Maintenance and Rehabilitation, Public-Private Partnerships, Community Linkage, Education and Communication, Accessibility Enhancement, Multiple-Use Management and more.