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The Elk River Rail Trail needs a trail head to supervise and maintain its trailheads.

Applications are being accepted through the middle of next week for a Park Superintendent 1 for the trail, via the state Division of Personnel website, personnel.wv.gov. Although a bachelor’s degree is a specified qualification for the state position, an Elk River Trail Foundation Facebook post on Tuesday states that at least one year of experience in position-related areas, such as natural resources, tourism, travel and environmental disciplines, may be substituted for consideration. The listed salary range is $29,396 to $54,382 annually. The closing date for application submission is 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 17.

Running parallel to the Elk River in Clay and Kanawha counties, the expanding Elk River Rail-Trail is open now for hikers, bicyclists, kayakers and equestrians to use, with boat and fishing access points positioned along the trail, including a pair in progress and nearing completion in Clendenin.

Active in the trail project’s development and emergence are members of the Elk River Trail Foundation, dedicated to promoting and preserving the area’s recreation, conservation, economic, cultural and tourism possibilities. (A copy of the Park Superintendent 1 application information is posted on the ERTF’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/elkrivertrail, as well.)

“We’re excited to get a superintendent hired, to be responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the trail, which is obviously very important,” ERTF President Ken Tawney said from his Big Chimney home on Wednesday. “The superintendent will also be policing the trail to keep irregular vehicular traffic off of the trails.”

One of the founding members of the ERTF, Tawney said the park superintendent’s role will be essential to the future success of the thriving trail system. “We’d like to get a park superintendent hired as quickly as possible.”

Two years ago, Gov. Jim Justice announced the Elk Rail Trail project, the creation of a 74-mile-long rail-trail state park along the former Elk River Railroad route. Tawney said the Elk Rail Trail is, at present, open along a 28-mile stretch from Duck to Hartland, approximately five miles down river from Clay. “There’s another nine miles virtually completed from Duck north to Frametown, and we’re currently in the process of building the trail from Queen Shoals into Clendenin. There’s going to be a lot of activity that’s going to occur soon, too,” he added.

Additional information about the Elk River Trail Foundation, the trail system and its status and how to financially support the nonprofit organization, is available at elkrivertrail.org.

Metro reporter Clint Thomas can be reached at cthomas@hdmediallc.com or by calling 304-348-1232.

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