BUCKHANNON – Calling all fans of fun mythical creatures: The Upshur County Trails group is adding a fairy-gnome trail and is asking for children of all ages in the community to help complete the project.
Organizer Rachel Garton Weber said the magical pathway, featured at the Upshur County Trails, will be located right behind the playground and the pavilion, which is located adjacent to Buckhannon-Upshur High School.
Weber said she came up with the idea for the fairy-gnome trail when she saw the Mason-Dixon Historical Park, in Morgantown, has a fairy trail.
“They have a little fairy garden trail, and I thought it would be a neat project,” Weber said. “We have a good spot for it, and I brought it up to different people in the community, and they were all on board. I asked the Upshur County Parks & Recreation Board and they said to go for it.”
Weber said once she received the green light on the project, she began cutting out the trail in the beginning of March and has completed that.
“I have started advertising, and we are going to make this a contest,” Weber said. “People in the community can come in and decorate a section of the trail. Now, I have 37 spots marked that can be areas. Folks can come in and decorate an area.”
She said there are some rules, and they are listed on the Upshur County Trails Facebook page and include things like prohibiting paper and cardboard or other items that can be blown away; giving bonus points for using all-natural elements; each area to be decorated has a flag with a number and if the number is crossed out and has a name, that area is already spoken for; and the contest officially ends on April 25.
“People of any age can do this,” Weber said. “I am going to have two decorating days – April 18 and April 25 – when I will be on site from 1 to 3 p.m. in case anyone needs some help. I will have a few goodies bags for the kids, but really, people can go out anytime and decorate their space.”
Weber said when people pick out their space, they need to let her know by contacting her on Facebook and placing their name on the flag. She said the sites are different sizes and folks can pick a bigger or smaller area to decorate and have fun.
“Some of the sites have a stump or a tree; one has a mossy area; and another has a big, long log, which I thought would be an interesting place to put things,” she said. “Another is near a big rock. It is all very different.”
“I think this is a perfect way for the young and the young of heart to help us develop this section of trails,” Weber added. “Families, especially families with younger children, have a section of trails they can walk on where there is no risk of being hit by a mountain biker coming through. It will be a fun area to go and check out all of the decorations.”
Weber said at the present time, they are working on getting signs made.
“The plan is to have the fairy-gnome trail finished by the end of April,” she said. “There has been a lot of interest in this, and I do not think we will have any trouble filling up the spots. In fact, I may even need to make more spots for decorating.”
The Upshur County Trails features nearly six miles of trails for walking, running, hiking and biking, is located near Buckhannon-Upshur High School and offers visitors the opportunity to spend some quality time with nature enjoying the wildlife, trees and spring wildflowers. The Upshur County Trails is a volunteer group dedicated to improving trail conditions and creating new trails in Upshur County. Their vision is to unite trail users in the county with surrounding counties to improve the trail usage for hiking, trail running and mountain biking.