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Built with Recreation in Mind

Stop, Rest and Enjoy

Cycling Down the Old Railroad Track

Cycling Along on Corridor H


Stop, Rest and Enjoy

West Virginia is justifiably proud of its scenery. The magnificent mountains, regardless of the season, are worth long, leisurely looks, particularly at the spots where mountain streams cut through the hills and rushing waters sparkle in the sun. Nowhere is this more true than in the eastern and northeastern part of the state, which is where Corridor H is to be constructed.

When Corridor H winds its four-lane way from Elkins eastward to the Virginia border, motorists will have to make a conscious effort to keep their eyes on the road and off the grandeur of the mountains all around them. The highway's designers - the engineers of the West Virginia Division of Highways - know the temptation, and they are dealing with it.

Wherever possible, they have determined to provide pull-off areas to give the traveler an opportunity to enjoy the scenery in safety. The highway will cross over valleys and streams, including the beautiful Lost River. Many of the locations are sufficiently remote and inaccessible that relatively few people have seen them. Thus, Corridor H - designed to "open up" that section of West Virginia to improved car and truck travel - will also open up its scenic beauty.

Engineers expect that these overlooks will provide limited parking with adequate space for travelers to comfortably and safely get out of the car, stretch their legs and enjoy the scenery. The planners do not expect to be able to include any rest stop facilities at these small locations just off the highway. These will be simply pull-offs where motorists can stop, take a break, and enjoy the scenery for which the Mountain State is famous.

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Cycling Down the Old Railroad Track

How about taking your nice, sleek bicycle down a railroad right of way? Sound dangerous? Sound like a rough and bumpy ride? Under many scenarios, both concerns would be justified - but not with what the West Virginia Division of Highways has in mind for cyclists along the route of Corridor H. For part of the route of that highway, riding bicycles down a railroad right of way is exactly what engineers plan to provide.

From the Elkins, WV area much of the way to Parsons, Thomas, Davis and on to Mount Storm, highway engineers are looking to upgrade the old Western Maryland Railroad right-of-way (no longer in use by the trains, of course). In many places, the new Corridor H highway will run right along the route where once the steam and diesel engines chugged their way through the mountains. There have been a number of slips and drainage problems in that area, but engineers intend to improve those situations and smooth the way for woodland cycling.

A new recreation opportunity will be afforded residents and tourists alike. They literally will be able to pump their way on their bicycles on the old Western Maryland right-of-way itself, along some of the most scenic countryside in America where once the iron horse steamed.

Then, once Corridor H is a reality, carrying its automobile and truck traffic, other traffic will tool along with the motorized vehicles. Engineers intend that bicyclists will be able to ride the entire length of the highway in safety, with carefully designed access at each interchange (link to cycling article), or for other bicyclists, they will be able to take advantage of a separate bicycle path.

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Cycling Along on Corridor H

The engineers planning the route of Corridor H in eastern West Virginia are thinking about much more than just cars and trucks. They are designing the four-lane highway for bicycles, as well.

Actually, the highway is not for bicycles – but the shoulders will be designed to offer opportunities for safe scenic travel on two wheels. Skilled cyclists who want the experience of riding their bikes through some of the most beautiful countryside in the state will have that opportunity on Corridor H.

The shoulders will be marked for bicycles, and the shoulders will provide six feet width on each side for safe travel. Even the long bridges which cross between the hills will have six foot wide bicycle space. Furthermore, every interchange ramp will be designed with the cyclists in mind, giving them safe passageways on Corridor H. The design and construction of Corridor H is being performed with consideration for the bikers' comfort and convenience.

Once Corridor H is constructed, biking enthusiasts will have a new continuous bike path from which to enjoy the beauties of the Mountain State and get some significant exercise in the mountains of West Virginia.


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