JULIAN, W.Va. — The recent sale of a tract of land along the Boone-Lincoln county line that contains two loops of the Hatfield-McCoy Trails system has left trail users looking for other places to ride, business owners thinking about closing and trail system officials scrambling to come up with a Plan B to keep trails open in the area if they can’t reach a licensing agreement with the new owner of the property.
The Hatfield-McCoy’s Little Coal River trail system near Julian in Boone County and the nearby Ivy Branch trail system in Lincoln County, each offering about 55 miles of trails to all-terrain vehicle and off-road motorcycle enthusiasts, will close to riders on Monday as the former owners of the land transfer the property to a new buyer, who remains unidentified until the sale agreement is finalized sometime next week.
“When we got the certified letter notifying us of the sale, I was just floored,” said Jeffrey Lusk, executive director the Hatfield-McCoy Trails. “It really caught us off guard. I didn’t know the land was on the market. But one way or another, we will work through this.”
The Little Coal River Trail, which opened 12 years ago, and the Ivy Branch Trail, just three years old, are the closest trails to Charleston in the Hatfield-McCoy system. None of the other six trail loops in the Hatfield-McCoy system, totaling about 600 miles in seven counties, was affected by the sale…