Trail Development Plan Phase One: Through Park Connector; Northern Half, River Left
Before and After Trail Construction

Trail Development Plan Phase One: Through Park Connector; Northern Half, River Left

New River Gorge National Park and Preserve » Trail Development Plan Phase One: Through Park Connector; Northern Half, River Left » Document List

Welcome! This site contains information and public review documents associated with an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the development of new trails throughout areas of the northern half of the New River Gorge National River in accordance with decisions made in the park's approved General Management Plan (GMP). These trails include trail segments of the Through Park Connector from McCreery almost to the northern park boundary on river left of the New River, as well as several trail segments that connect the Through Park Connector to the rim, to the river and to other public trails that link to trailheads outside the park, nearby communities and regional points of interest. For the trail segments that would be developed for multiple user groups, including pedestrians and bicycles, an analysis of impacts of bicycle use on those trails must be completed to promulgate a special rule in the Code of Federation Regulations that designates those trails as open to bicycle use.

The EA examines in detail two alternatives: Alternative A, the No Action Alternative, which would continue current management direction, and Alternative B, the Trail Development Alternative, which proposed developing the trail segments of the Through Park Connector and outside links and implementing park protocols for current and future trail design and construction that would avoid and minimize adverse impacts to the park's natural and cultural resources. The Trail Development Alternative included development of a trail connection to a climbing area, consistent with approved GMP decisions. Environmental impacts of the two alternatives were analyzed for:
- Vegetation: Including Common and Rare Plant Communities, Rare Plants, Threatened and Endangered Plant Species and Non-Native Invasive Plant Species
- Wildlife and Habitat: Including Threatened and Endangered Species and Species of Concern Related to the Actions Proposed
- Soil Conditions, Streamflow Characteristics and Water Quality
- Prehistoric and Historic Archeological Resources, Sites and Structures
- Visitor Use, Experience, Access and Safety
- Park Operations, Facilities and Maintenance

Public Review and Comment. The EA was distributed for agency and public review for a minimum of 30 days. Written comments must have been postmarked by the due date of April 5, 2013. The NPS considered all comments received, and with no substantive issues identified, the NPS selected Alternative B for implementation and prepared a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for signature by the Northeast Regional Director. The FONSI was signed May 28, 2013. Both the EA and FONSI can be viewed on or downloaded from the NPS Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) web site (see Project Links – click on the Document List link).

For more information, please explore the menu on this website. We look forward to your continued involvement in projects at the New River Gorge!

Contact Information

Jamie Fields
Outdoor Recreation Planner