A scene from the fairy gnome garden that's visible along the Upshur County Trails, which now measures about 8 miles. / Photos by Monica Zalaznik

Try this W.Va., Upshur Trails partner to encourage residents to practice healthy habits, boost community wellness

BUCKHANNON – Try This WV and the Upshur County Trails hope to help everyone in Upshur County stay healthy.

Try This WV invited the community and Upshur County Trails to an informational meeting Aug. 17, where participants learned about Try This WV and the trails. Director of Try This WV Brittney Barlett said they are a statewide nonprofit that has been working to help encourage healthy habits in West Virginia.

“Our overall goal is to knock West Virginia off the worst health list, which unfortunately, we’re at the top of most of them when it comes to [diseases such as] heart disease, diabetes, obesity not just for adults, but for youth as well,” Barlett said. “There are also a lot of barriers in West Virginia that make it harder maybe for us to get healthy as opposed to other states.”

She said the state struggles with high rates of poverty, a lack of transportation and difficulty in reaching healthy food sources.

Brittney Barlett, director of Try This WV, speaks at the informational meeting Aug. 17.

“There’s a huge swath of our state that’s a food desert, so if you’ve never heard that term before, it means there’s no place within about 20 miles to buy fresh produce, so some indicators of those are like, the only place you could get food is at a Family Dollar or the Dollar Store — something like that,” Barlett said. “There are so many barriers to getting healthy in our state, but also that leaves a lot of opportunities because West Virginia is also the state that spends the most time with their neighbors and also volunteers the most out of any other state.”

One of their most recognizable programs is their mini-grants initiative.

“We’ve awarded about 370. I haven’t updated it since our new round in June, but we are somewhere around 370 projects that we’ve awarded since 2014 across the state, and 44 of those have been in these counties here in Central West Virginia,” Barlett said.

Rachel Weber with the Upshur County Trails group said Upshur County’s trail system started in 2015 after a local mountain biker asked the Parks and Recreation board if he could make several trails and his request was approved.

“It really had a lot of support from Upshur County, the City, the mayor, the CVB – everybody has been very positive about us doing these trails,” Weber said.

Rachel Weber with Upshur County Trails speaks at the Aug. 17 informational event.

Since then, a large group of volunteers has created eight miles of trails for hikers, joggers, mountain bikers and anyone else who wants to use them.

“We put in a whole new trail — this machine-filled trail that’s meant to be a little easier for maybe novice mountain bikers, or maybe people that want something a little gentler; it’s not as deep, but wider,” Weber said.

Weber emphasized how supportive each separate entity has been of the trails.

“Our trails are on school property, county property and part of a city lease, so we’ve had real success out here,” Weber said. “Last year, I think we had almost 1,000 volunteer hours on the trails; this year we have not been so good so far, there’s not as much to do.”

The trails and several maps can be found in the Upshur County Recreational Park. One entrance is near the state police station and another can be found near the pavilions.

SHOPS & SERVICES

Featured

St. Joseph’s Hospital recognizes Advanced Practice Providers

BUCKHANNON, W.Va. – St. Joseph’s Hospital recognized the contributions of their Advance Practice Providers (APP) during National Advanced Practice Week from September 26 to 30.  Jennifer Dorazio, Director of Ancillary Services and Ambulatory Clinics, personally

Fish Hawk Acres invites community to events this October

BUCKHANNON – Mark your calendar: Fish Hawk Acres will offer several exciting events this month. Experience the fun and fine dining of Fish Hawk Acres through their Wine Clubs and Farm Dinner Series. Register for

A ‘Dicken’s Christmas’ coming to downtown Buckhannon this holiday season

BUCKHANNON – Buckhannon will go back in time this holiday season to celebrate a Dicken’s Christmas this December. Becki Westfall attended the Sept. 22 Consolidated Public Works meeting to request street closures and the use of Jawbone Park for a […]

There’s more to this story! Become a premium member to unlock immediate access to daily, in-depth local news that matters to you. Signing up is easy — just tap the button below.

SHOPS & SERVICES

BUHS Girls Soccer Feature Image

Soccer Lady Bucs down Brooke

WELLSBURG – The Buckhannon-Upshur Lady Buc soccer team went 1-2 during a three-game stretch on the road. Last Saturday, the Lady Bucs suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of George Washington and followed that up with a 3-0 loss […]

There’s more to this story! Become a premium member to unlock immediate access to daily, in-depth local news that matters to you. Signing up is easy — just tap the button below.

Football Little Bucs roll past Tucker Valley, 38-14

TENNERTON – Brody McDaniels threw for two touchdowns and 84 yards as the Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School Little Bucs cruised to a 38-14 win over visiting Tucker Valley Thursday night at Freal “Red” Crites Memorial Stadium. Going to a spread offense […]

There’s more to this story! Become a premium member to unlock immediate access to daily, in-depth local news that matters to you. Signing up is easy — just tap the button below.

Falkenstein and Shreve run one and two as Lady Bucs win Polar Bear Invitational

FAIRMONT – Lydia Falkenstein and Samantha Shreve ran first and second to lead the Buckhannon-Upshur Lady Buc cross country team to a victory in the five-team Polar Bear Invitational Saturday afternoon. Falkenstein clocked a winning time of 18:22.9, while Shreve […]

There’s more to this story! Become a premium member to unlock immediate access to daily, in-depth local news that matters to you. Signing up is easy — just tap the button below.

SHOPS & SERVICES

St. Joseph’s Hospital recognizes Advanced Practice Providers

BUCKHANNON, W.Va. – St. Joseph’s Hospital recognized the contributions of their Advance Practice Providers (APP) during National Advanced Practice Week from September 26 to 30.  Jennifer Dorazio, Director of Ancillary Services and Ambulatory Clinics, personally

2023 West Virginia Wildlife Calendar now available to purchase

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.VA. — The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources today announced that the 2023 West Virginia Wildlife Calendar is now available to purchase online at WVstateparks.com. “If you’re a hunter, angler or outdoor