West Virginia park trail welcomes magical inhabitants

By BEN CONLEY, The Dominion Post
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — According to Mason-Dixon Historical Park Superintendent J.R. Petsko, one of the park’s trails is taking on a decidedly mythical quality thanks to a number of local artists.
On April 27, the park will officially open its new Fairy Doors Trail in conjunction with the 26th Annual Ramp Dinner.
In case you’re wondering, a fairy door is a tiny door or entry way either attached to or built into a natural opening in a tree. The doors provide the illusion that a community of fair folk have taken up residence in the old park’s woods.
And just like their magical inhabitants and the artists who designed them, every door is unique.
“Some of them open up and have different things. The one I made, since the trail is just opening, I made miniature moving boxes and picture frames and put them in the door,” Petsko said. “I think we’ll periodically change what’s inside the door.”
The trail was inspired by park regulars Talia Wight and her husband, local artist Eddie “Spaghetti” Maier and was helped along by a $1,000 Arts Mon Impact Grant.
Maier said that once the grant was secured, they put out the word to the local arts community. Along with Maier, Wight and Petsko, some of the artists involved include Mike Blackburn, Mindi Rockwell, Hope Simon, Jamie Lester and Ben Kolb.
Maier said his family has been making clay fairy houses for years and are constantly seeing prime real estate in old stumps or fallen trees during their treks.
“It’s something that just really inspires imagination, plus it also promotes being outside and appreciating nature,” he said. “With all the computer screens and gadgets, it’s a little way to do something fun and promote a love for the outdoors.”
The trail is located about a half-mile from the park’s main parking area. While it will include 10-12 fairy doors when it opens later this month, there are already six or so in place and the public is welcome to check out the work in progress.
An updated park map highlighting the Fairy Doors Trail can be seen on the park’s Facebook page. Existing park maps have the trail listed as the Bluebell Trail.
Petsko explained the original Bluebell Trail was created as a final project for soon-to-be Eagle Scout Christian Fortuna.
Information from: The Dominion Post, http://www.dominionpost.com