Connecting Parkersburg to Pittsburgh by Rail-Trail: Bringing a world-class trail network to West Virginia

This study focuses on the segment of the P2P corridor that lies within the state of West Virginia, from Parkersburg to the West Virginia–Pennsylvania border, just north of Morgantown. The primary alignment of the P2P corridor utilizes existing rail-trails and unused or abandoned rail corridors, and was largely determined through the collaborative efforts of P2P corridor partners. The size and scope of this project produce inherent complexities that will take many partners—working in coordination over several years—to complete.

by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC)


P2 P Feasibility Study 042418


No matter what the subject, feasibility studies pose an inherent question: is this project realistic and possible? In this instance, the question becomes: is it possible to develop the P2P corridor as a seamlessly connected rail-trail? RTC’s answer, backed by decades of rail-trail experience, is a resounding YES! Acquiring gap segments, designing and constructing the trail, then maintaining, promoting and connecting the trail to nearby communities will not come without challenges. Continued coordination among the strong partners that make up the P2P Corridor Working Group, along with support from state agencies, local elected officials, decision-makers, and—most importantly— community members from along the corridor, will be at the core of this project’s success. In reflecting on the totality of the P2P feasibility, several observations present themselves.

Published April 24, 2018

About the Author


Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a nationwide network of trails from former rail lines and connecting corridors to build healthier places for healthier people. RTC’s mission, and its value, is magnified in urban areas, where one mile of trail can completely redefine the livability of a community. Where trails are more than just recreational amenities, creating opportunities for active transportation and physical activity—improving our health and wellbeing—as they safely connect us to jobs, schools, businesses, parks, and cultural institutions in our own neighborhoods and beyond.

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