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Trail use, maintenance up in Kanawha County

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CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — A day after West Virginia state health officials announced the largest one-day increase in COVID-19 cases, the cases grew again by 93 on Saturday.

Despite this, one group says trail use and maintenance is up.

The Kanawha Valley Trail Alliance was busy moving dirt around Saturday morning at the Kanawha State Forest.

(Photo courtesy, Kanawha Valley Trail Alliance)

The group focuses on a new site in the Charleston-metro area each month. This time, they continued their work at the Middle Ridge Trail which they cut a month ago with the help of 30 volunteers.

“The first pass we just kind of got the trail roughed in just basically built, but there were still some issues with some of the turns and drainage and things like that,” said the Kanawha Valley Trail Association president, Bradley Schmalzer.

It’s hard work, but they’re happy to do it. The City of Charleston even loans them equipment.

They say trail building is a good way to socially distance right now.

“You know you’re swinging lots of tools around so you’re kind of naturally forced to stay apart, but we can do it in an organized manner where we can do it outside doing something other than sitting inside full of anxiety kind of worrying about this scary world that we’re living in,” Bradley said.

About a dozen volunteers showed up Saturday morning.

“I come out here to make more fun, put more smiles on people’s faces, to give back to the biking community,” volunteer David McCormick said.

And as COVID-19 cases continue to climb in West Virginia, this group says they will continue to find refuge outdoors.

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