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Clay County Business and Development Authority promotes tourism with new rail bikes

The Buffalo Creek and Gauley Railroad was once a vital resource for many who lived in the mountains of Clay County. Built mostly by hand in the 1900s, the railroad hauled coal and lumber. Now, the rail is being used for a recreational adventure for families to enjoy. (WCHS/WVAH)

The Buffalo Creek and Gauley Railroad was once a vital resource for many who lived in the mountains of Clay County. Built mostly by hand in the 1900s, the railroad hauled coal and lumber. Now, the rail is being used for a recreational adventure for families to enjoy.

"You can't beat the scenery," President of the Clay County Business and Development Authority Mitch DeBoard said. "We are operating on 6 miles of the most pristine scenery. You will see otter, deer, bears, squirrels and turkey. You name it you will see it."

Rail bikes are a popular trend in some states and even some other countries. The cart is manually peddled by riders to roll along the rail road tracks. Visitors can peddle through the beautiful scenery while learning about the history deeply nestled in the mountains of Clay County.

"We want to promote tourism in Clay County," DeBoard said. "We started hearing about rail bikes taking off other places. I thought 'why can't we have that here?'"

Wednesday evening Deboard gave around 100 volunteers with the Appalachian Service Project a ride. The volunteers are working on several projects in Clay County throughout the summer, and couldn't wait to go for a ride through the mountains.

"Once you get going you just roll," Lauren Hall said. "It was fun, but you have to be able to trust the person who is controlling the brake."

The rail bikes are now ready to ride at the JG Bradley Lodge and Campground. For more information on booking a ride visit the Clay County Business and Development Authority's Facebook page.

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