Jeff Hutchinson, director of the county parks department, said his folks have helped install signage and create a little pull-off from the Hampton Road trailhead. Parks employees also have hauled out dozens of tires that were dumped there.
Beyond that, he sees his department's role as a low-key trustee.
"It's not supposed to be maintained-maintained," he said. "It's supposed to be natural."
Indeed, that is what the families of siblings Dolly Hartman and Harry Wallace had in mind when they worked out a conservation easement for the land with the West Virginia Land Trust, said Sarah Vintorini, its marketing and outreach manager.
"Dolly Wallace Hartman loves this land very much. Every time I speak with her, she talks about how she used to walk this property with her dad," Vintorini said.
Hartman didn't want to see the land sold or developed.
"So she donated the land itself to parks and recreation and at the same time put a conservation easement on it. The land can't ever be sold," Vintorini explained.
Harry Wallace's son, Scott, currently is renovating his dad and aunt's old home place adjacent to the trail property and with Brooks McCabe is creating a modest five-lot home development that will be built off Stonehenge Road.
Scott said he's excited that the trail will be there for his own children to explore. He's been on the trail and a few years ago helped his brother, Matt, a blacksmith, install a bench that Matt had made.
Vintorini said the arrangement is unique for the land trust, which was created in 1990.
"This is the only land we have easement on that is public," she said. Most of the time, the land trust works with private landowners concerned about what will happen to treasured family property when they are gone.
"We just closed on one easement in Ronceverte. The woman who owns the land is from a family that has owned land and farmed there for hundreds of years. It is on U.S. 219 and she has no children. She has been pressured to develop it, and the thought of that was heartbreaking to her. So, by using a conservation easement, she knows that will never happen," Vintorini said.
Contact writer Monica Orosz at mon...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4830.