Congratulations and thanks to the city of Marietta and all those who have worked long and hard to develop the Marietta River Trail. It was exciting to read the article in the newspaper about the opening of the fourth mile of this project.
As a "senior" returning to biking for exercise, I look for places that are safe, virtually free of motorized traffic, attractive, and with smooth surfaces. This path fits the bill. And in addition, it is convenient to parking as well as a variety of shopping and other opportunities.
I realize others may well be more interested in on-road biking and/or mountain biking, but I suspect that given the average age and physical condition of residents of the Mid-Ohio Valley, venues such as the Marietta Bike Path would be attractive incentives in terms of increasing physical activity. The article quotes a Marietta councilman commenting on the amount of use this trail receives.
But what about the West Virginia side of the river? For years and years I have read about the Little Kanawha Connector Trail, but the articles generally reference the potential of the trail "when completed." I see "bike route" signs, but these seem to be on roads and streets that are heavily used by cars and trucks and not places where I would feel comfortable riding.
Other than the one-mile loop in the Parkersburg City Park, I am unaware of a venue similar to the Marietta River Trail as it was, as it is now, and certainly as it will be with further planned expansion. It is vital to have plans; however, if it is also important to have something completed and available to residents for recreation and exercise.
I will continue to hope for a comparable venue here in the West Virginia region of the Mid-Ohio Valley, but in the meantime, I'll continue to transport my bike to Marietta to enjoy the River Trail. Thanks for making this resource available.