By Allen Hamrick
These days, it is time to get the walking sticks, waders or whatever you term as outing gear and get out of your comfort zone to experience the wild nature that surrounds us. West Virginia has many untamed rivers and streams, mountainous beauty, forgotten wilderness and trails to be rediscovered that are teeming with the rich history of our own Almost Heaven. There are many hiking and biking trails that will get your heart pumping right here in Clay’s great outdoors. In addition, the stage is set for the old railroad along Buffalo Creek to come to life once again and be a destination spot for many across this country. If you love a challenge, this will be it.
Rail Explorers, a company that started its business in New York, has been awarded the contract to run their cars on the newly renovated BC&G railroad from Dundon to just past Swandale, 28 miles round trip. The company has expanded its operations throughout the country and will soon call Clay County one of their home spots. Their cars are easy to pedal and are perfect for family fun; some of the cars will be electric assisted so that the adventure can be fun younger and older folks alike.
There will soon be changes in Dundon, as well. The company leased the whole campground plus the lodge to give visitors a great place to stay and visit. The plans are still in the drawing room, so to speak, but are on the way. Rail Explorers will arrive at some point in September to start the makeover and hire their first people to run the rail cars. The projected opening date for the rides is April 1, 2024. Rail Explorers will also begin hiring their seasonal workers as well. So, if you’re interested in a good job, keep your eyes peeled for notices. Rail Explorers has a lot of plans and will be a great benefit to the future of this county.
So, it is time to enjoy the great outdoors whether you hunt, fish, go off-roading, read a book in the midst of nature, hike the mountains, mountain bike or kayak. There are many roads in this state that are untraveled and unexplored by many of the people who call this state home. I have traveled this state and abroad, and there is so much one can get involved with here in our county and in our state. The new rail bikes will be a ton of fun; many have experienced it first-hand prior to the rebuilding of the rails and are coming back for more. Have you ever wanted to know what you couldn’t see beyond the last curve of the track? Now, you will be able to.
Mark your calendar right now for April1, 2024, and be prepared for a ton of fun. Make it part of your bucket list and hit the rails. This ride will open your eyes to the past and rejuvenate your lungs to fresh air that can only be found in the wilderness. You owe it to yourself to take advantage of the opportunities in this county- hiking, fishing, canoeing and biking and soon the rail cars.