2017-06-07 / Front Page

Race opens new cross country trail at Cacapon

by Kate Shunney


Park, school, state and foundation officials cut the ribbon opening a new cross country trail at Cacapon State Park on Saturday, June 3. Pictured, from left, are Cacapon State Park Foundation member Todd Buzzerd, Berkeley Springs High School cross country and track coach Dave Aberegg, Board of Education president David Ambrose, CNB Bank president Mark Harrell, Berkeley Springs High School cross country coach John Rowland, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, Park Superintendent Scott Fortney, Bryan Heironimus, West Virginia DNR Chief Stephen McDaniel, School Superintendent David Banks, foundation president Jim Michael, Mike Keefer and Commissioner Ken Reed. In the rear are Tom Kluge and Heather Sigel of War Memorial Hospital. Park, school, state and foundation officials cut the ribbon opening a new cross country trail at Cacapon State Park on Saturday, June 3. Pictured, from left, are Cacapon State Park Foundation member Todd Buzzerd, Berkeley Springs High School cross country and track coach Dave Aberegg, Board of Education president David Ambrose, CNB Bank president Mark Harrell, Berkeley Springs High School cross country coach John Rowland, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, Park Superintendent Scott Fortney, Bryan Heironimus, West Virginia DNR Chief Stephen McDaniel, School Superintendent David Banks, foundation president Jim Michael, Mike Keefer and Commissioner Ken Reed. In the rear are Tom Kluge and Heather Sigel of War Memorial Hospital. A community effort to build a new Cross Country trail for local running teams neared the finish line this past weekend. More than 100 runners and walkers took to the 5K trail on Saturday, June 3 for the Pure Cross Country 5K race, which followed a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new trail at Cacapon State Park.


Runners and walkers lined up for the first 5K race on a new cross country course at Cacapon State Park on Saturday, June 3. One hundred eight participants registered to run or walk the course. Runners and walkers lined up for the first 5K race on a new cross country course at Cacapon State Park on Saturday, June 3. One hundred eight participants registered to run or walk the course. Bryan Heironimus was credited with the idea to build a more challenging trail for local cross-country runners, and to do it at the State Park.

The trail, built almost entirely by volunteer labor and the donations of equipment and expertise by local contractors, has been in progress since last year. It follows or re-routes existing trails at Cacapon State Park around the lodge and lower cabin areas.

The trail, which is roughly five feet wide and graveled with fine bluestone, begins to the west of the lodge and heads up Piney Ridge, taking runners through forested areas. The trail also crosses the park’s reservoir dam.


Bryan Heironimus talks about the idea behind the new cross country course at the dedication ceremony on June 3. Behind him is Judge Glen Stotler. Bryan Heironimus talks about the idea behind the new cross country course at the dedication ceremony on June 3. Behind him is Judge Glen Stotler. Park naturalist Renee Fincham said she designed the majority of the trail, and coordinated with cross country coach John Rowland to determine its path.

Rowland said the course, when finished, will be one of the finest in the state. It is considered a European-style course because of its hilly terrain and challenging features.

Heironimus, during an opening ceremony for the trail, said he wanted local running teams to train and compete on a course that had more challenges than the flat courses he has seen around the state.

He said later he hopes the course will attract a state cross-country meet, and bring teams and visitors from around the area. On top of being a well-made course, Heironimus noted that it winds through some of the most beautiful scenery in the area.


Excavator Eddie Rider tried to avoid the limelight at the cross country course, but was recognized for his significant volunteer work and expertise in building it. Excavator Eddie Rider tried to avoid the limelight at the cross country course, but was recognized for his significant volunteer work and expertise in building it. Local excavator Eddie Rider was credited for donating most of the heavy earthmoving services required to make the trail. Other companies like Tree Works Land Development and John Keefer Trucking donated their services to the construction and graveling of the course.

Local businesses and other donors, including the Morgan County Commission, were recognized by Family Judge Glen Stotler, who emceed the opening ceremonies.

Brown trail markers that direct runners along the trail carry the logo of Valley Health systems, which donated funds for the markers. A sign at the beginning of the course lists the many donors and volunteers who contributed to the project.


Lee Harden sported the official t-shirt of the inaugural 5K race on the new course at Cacapon State Park. Harden and her husband volunteer at the park’s Nature Center. Lee Harden sported the official t-shirt of the inaugural 5K race on the new course at Cacapon State Park. Harden and her husband volunteer at the park’s Nature Center. Park Superintendent Scott Fortney said the project has wide support, from individuals, businesses and the Cacapon State Park Foundation, which takes on special park projects and adopted the effort as their main focus this year.

Work continues on sections of the trail, which is expected to draw cross-country meets and teams from around the region.

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