The natural beauty that Craig County has is undeniable. Recently, there was an announcement to bring in a trail to the county, yet costly to install and community members are concerned even more costly to keep up.
Some residents are happy to see its possible arrival.
- “I’m excited for the trail.” – Debbie Thomas
- “I think it’s great.: – Janet Dudding
- A thumbs up and approval was given by Jean Elmore, Matt Duncan and Peggy Huffman.
- “I can’t wait to hike it!” – Michele Ledford Thacker and Tracy Johnson Surface.
- “Can’t wait!” – Ray Sandifer
Also, some noted that changes could be made to the current “trail” which could ban vehicles.
“If the ‘trail’ bans or removes vehicular traffic from the longer scenic portions of the old railroad bed that we have driven on for 50 years, I would consider it a loss rather than a gain,” Ed Lee shared.
Still many others had adverse reactions.
- “It’s a joke. For one they tried this years ago. The land went back to the landowners so if they do this it means they will take people’s land. (It was to go back to landowners. When the railroad went out any place it runs through a person’s land, they have the right to block it. We have been through this song and dance before.) Secondly, I worked in parks for over 17 years. People leave trash along trails and mess things up. Thirdly, after they build it, they will not keep it up as we have the little one at the school now and they don’t take care of and other one at Fenwick Mines that isn’t taken care of. Fourthly, I think of all the money that it will take and also very few people is going to use it enough to justify the money and that is just a start.” – Lee Looney
- A thumbs down was given by Harold Keene.
- “I don’t like the idea. It feels like a real good way to put more stress on already small volunteer services. Think about it. Campers cause sixty percent of all forestry fires, so do we really have the equipment to deal with that? Not to mention our police force is already stretched thin. Our officers have driven the same cars for forever and dealing with issues two miles into the woods is going to require more four wheelers or something. Don’t get me started on how the EMT’s will be able to cover that many more calls. I don’t know the figures right off the top of my head but there isn’t a week that goes by that the police, ambulance or fire truck or other emergency vehicle isn’t needed at the top of Catawba Mountain where the big trail is. I am not saying absolutely not, but I do hope these things are being considered.” – Lena Lindsay
- “This project will increase the amount of taxes that everyone is already paying. This will not be a one and done tax increase; it will be a yearly tax increase for upkeep of a trail that will only be used by a few people. Eventually it will be in disrepair and unusable, but taxes will continue to rise. In my opinion this money could be used in a much better way.” – Deborah Mayo
- “Long term maintenance of such projects does not seem to be considered. We lost Camp Mitchell because of this very thing by the county, and we see Fenwick Mines going downhill because of lack of Federal funding.” – Patricia Carper
- “Good thoughts, Patricia and I concur! I loved walking around Fenwick Mines when I lived in town. It saddens me to see such disrepair because of poor planning.” – Rhonda Dee Moore
Others noted the increase of trash, mattresses, water bottles and other “paraphernalia,” including sexual and drug-related items, on the current trails.
Some asked why funds could not be found to build up Camp Mitchell so youth would have a safe and fun place to go.
Despite the differing of opinions, many still hope that an agreement will be reached.