Friends of Blackwater, received of a grant to create a Blackwater Loop hiking and biking trail that will safely and scenically connect the Towns of Thomas and Davis.
Judy Rodd, Friends of Blackwater’s Director, said: “We are so proud to have received a pilot grant for $800,000 for Tucker County trail development from the Office of Surface Mining, for economic development on historical minelands. The new Blackwater Canyon Loop Trail from Thomas to Davis joins the old railroad grade and Blackwater Falls State Park trails into one continuous loop.”
“The key link is a pedestrian bridge across the North Fork of the Blackwater, right at Douglas Falls,” Rodd continued. This bridge will be a super outdoor recreation experience and photo destination.””
Rodd continued, “The trail will be eight miles long, with kiosks and interpretive signs along the way, explaining industrial and railroad history, as well as the unique ecology of the area. Trailheads will be developed in the towns of Thomas and Davis. Parking areas will be added for those who want to only do part of the trail. The trail will be family-friendly and open to hikers and bikers. Maps of the trail and tourism promotion are part of the grant.”
The trail will create a unique outdoor experience that will build the local tourism economy and provide healthy outdoor recreation for all. Features along the route include two old railroad bridges, historic coke ovens, and the site of the railroad roundhouse. The Loop Trail also includes a spectacular view of Blackwater Canyon from Pase Point, the deep woods of the Dobbin House trail in the state park, Pendleton Lake, and Blackwater Falls. The Loop Trail will run along the main stem of the Blackwater River, with its famous fishing spots, and have its terminus in Davis City Park, where historic signs will explain the towns industrial past. “This fabulous trail will have good food and drink at either end, as well places to stay overnight. See you on the Loop Trail!” Rodd said.