For about 5 years now I have been making annual visits to the McTrail Rail-Trail in Marion County West Virginia. This 2.5 mile paved trail currently has access points at Pickets Fort SP and near Morgantown Avenue in Fairmont.

I have to say it has been interesting to watch this trail's transformation from a muddy, depressing mess, to a model Rail-Trail. If you want to see first hand how this Rail-Trail has changed take a look at my photos from 2004 and from 2005.

Betsy and I arrived at the Prickett's for trail head Sunday, March 12, around 1:30. The trail head is near the connector to the Mon River Rail-Trail. At that time there were 4 cars in the parking area. The parking area, the short remaining section of packed sand trail and the connector are scheduled to be paved this season.

Previous trips to this "baby Rail-Trail", no matter when or what the weather, were usually pretty lonesome. Few people knew of or used the trail and there had been so many problems with the trail over the years I imaging some peoples reaction to seeing the trail was "this is the last time I come here!" No so now. Betsy and I walked the lenth of the trail and were seldom out of site of other trail users. When we arrived at the southern trail head there were 11 cars and when we returned to the north end there were 10 cars. We also noted some folks were using the church parking lot near the trail head.

Hats off to Dan Talbott of Marion County Parks and Recreation (MCPARC), the Marion County Commission and everyone else who kept the faith!

Photographer's note: If the photos appear a bit off color to you, you are not imagining it. I had inadvertently left the white balance setting on my camera to "white fluorescent " instead of "sunlight".