Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

August 9, 2013

Regional growth — Pocahontas development helpful

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— New construction now underway in the town of Pocahontas is being attributed to the success of the Hatfield-McCoy Trail system in neighboring Bramwell, and the pending arrival of the new Spearhead Trail system in Southwest Virginia. The construction project represents a win-win for both towns.

The work includes an ATV haven featuring 14 cabins, five spaces for recreational vehicles and a Laundromat, according to Pocahontas Mayor Benjamin Gibson. The lodging facilities will serve the growing numbers of ATV riders now using the nearby Pocahontas Trail, a new branch of the Hatfield-McCoy Trail in Mercer County, as well as  visitors to the future Spearhead Trail segment planned for the Pocahontas area.

The Spearhead Trail is being developed across seven counties in Southwest Virginia. A soft opening of the St. Paul segment of the Spearhead Trail system in Wise County has already occurred. Tazewell County officials already have funding in place for a 53-mile segment of the trail system planned near Pocahontas, but they are still working to secure a final and necessary land lease agreement for the project.

The riders are already traveling between the town of Bramwell, located near the new branch’s trailhead, and the town of Pocahontas. When the future Spearhead Trail is completed in Tazewell County, Pocahontas will be the intersection between the two ATV riding venues, Gibson said.

Water, sewer and electricity infrastructure are in place already, so the town is prepared for ATV developments, according to Gibson. He adds the town is already getting inquiries from other people interested in finding locations for potential developments.

Signs marking ATV routes through the town also have already been installed, and off-road riders have been using designated routes to visit the Historic Pocahontas Exhibition Mine.

The ATV riders are already here, and more will be coming once the local segment of the Spearhead Trail is up and running. These out-of-town visitors need places to eat, shop and even wash their clothes.

That’s why the work currently underway in Pocahontas is welcomed, and should help in addressing the lodging and service facilities shortage that continues to encumber the Hatfield-McCoy Trail system.

Combined with the new ATV resort being developed at the old Bramwell High School, the work underway in both Pocahontas and Bramwell is a good step in the right direction when it comes to addressing the lodging needs for the Hatfield-McCoy Trail, and the future Spearhead Trail system.