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Traveling WV: Lover's Lane Boardwalk

The boardwalk is extremely well made from quality lumber and hugs the contour of the land. (WCHS/WVAH)

Just after the Civil War in 1875, a boardwalk was built outside of Webster Springs that led from the B.C. Grist Mill on the back fork of Elk River. The boardwalk provided a dry place to walk since most roads were muddy year round. Known locally as Lover's Lane, the structure led all the way to town for almost a mile. Lover's Lane was updated and parts were restored in 1890, and was in use until 1940. However, the years had taken their toll on the structure, and it was eventually torn down.

Fast forward to 2013 when retired University Librarian David M. Gillespie, Ph.D, a native of Webster Springs, began acquiring the land that the original boardwalk occupied. Gillespie dreamed of rebuilding the boardwalk and providing the public a trip back in time, and a journey along the beautiful back fork of Elk River. That dream has become a reality as Lover's Lane is slowly being reborn along the steep mountainside just outside of Webster Springs. The entire project is being funded by Dr. Gillespie, but will be open to the public at no charge, hopefully by mid to late summer of 2018. David is accepting donations for the project, as he's trying to create a two mile loop trail that incorporates existing swinging bridges and a walking trail on the opposite bank.

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