POCAHONTAS, Va. — The Spearhead ATV Trail in Tazewell County is scheduled to be closed for at least 30 days, starting Monday.
Shawn Lindsey, executive director of Spearhead Trails, said the Town of Pocahontas made the request related to fears associated with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and he is honoring it.
“I think the town is doing the right thing,” he said, referring to citizen’s concerns about an increase in ATV traffic coming into town, some from out of state. “We respect their authority to protect the people."
Pocahontas Mayor Ben Gibson said the town council met today and declared a State of Emergency, with a request to temporarily close the trail, which is the only ATV trail in the county, from concern about too many people coming into town.
“Since the Hatfield-McCoy (ATV trail system in West Virginia that begins in Mercer County) closed traffic has increased in the town quite a bit,” he said. “There was some concern from citizens that they have been told to stay home (with no unnecessary trips) but it’s full steam ahead for out-of-state people.”
Gibson said that while riding on the trail poses no issue, the visitors stop by places for supplies and use facilities.
“It’s an open door for it (the virus) to be brought here,” he said. “We would like to see it closed for 30 days. We have listened to our citizens."
Both trailheads to the Old Pocahontas Trail, in the town as well as in Boissevain, will be closed, Lindsey said, barring any intervention by a “higher authority.”
He said the trail system’s board of directors will discuss the issue Friday, but he understands that they will abide by the town’s wishes.
Lindsey also said that Spearhead trails in other counties in Southwest Virginia remain open at this point.
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