Van Voorhis Trailhead Open to Public

Morgantown Dominion Post
7 July 2016
By Ann Kennell

The new kayak/canoe launch is open for the public at the Van Voorhis Trailhead.

On Wednesday evening, there was a ribbon-cutting for the launch, near Mile 4 of the Mon River Rail-Trail and River Mile 95.1 of the Upper Monongahela River Water Trail.

Mon River Trails Conservancy (MRTC) and the Morgantown Area Paddlers (MAP) have worked hard on completing the launch for the last few years. Ella Belling, executive director of MRTC, couldn’t be happier to see the launch finally open.

“It’s been nine years of continual effort. There used to be a glass factory here, and it took a lot of effort to get it to be safe place for people.” Belling said.

Mary Wimmer, known as the fundraising launch superstar within her group, and the MAP organizer, along with the MRTC, raised over $40,000 within a year to finish the launch site.

“This has been an amazing trip. I have found my original notes from last year when we started the final push for fundraising and we did it,” Wimmer said. “Now, we get to use it and it is just wonderful to see.”

Along with the new launch, the trailhead was upgraded with restrooms, a 30-car parking lot, trailhead signs and a bulletin case for the rail-trail.

“Getting more West Virginians outside and exercising is great, ” Wimmer said, “This is really nice exercise, so we are hoping to get lots more people out.”

Both Wimmer and Belling recognize that without the support of the community and other partners, the new launch site would never have been possible.

“Very diverse support we got. Everything from Rotaries to businesses. It has just been a great diversity of support.” Wimmer said.

Tips for using the launch: