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May 20, 2022

Federal funding will help build regional trail

Credit: Cumberland Times-News

CUMBERLAND, Md. — Friends of Blackwater will receive more than $1.2 million in federal funding for the Blackwater Loop and Regional Heritage Trail project, U.S. Rep. David Trone and U.S. Sens Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen said Thursday.

The nonprofit group, which works to protect and promote natural resources and outdoor recreation in the mid-Atlantic Allegheny Highlands, will use the funding to construct an 8-mile loop trail connecting the towns of Thomas and Davis, Blackwater Falls State Park and the Monongahela National Forest, and design the 107-mile Blackwater Canyon Regional Trail that will extend from Elkins, West Virginia to Cumberland. The regional trail will pass through four West Virginia counties, including Mineral.

“With this new funding, we are not only providing more opportunities for Marylanders to explore our state’s wonderful trails and parks, but we are also increasing travel and tourism for our local economies in Western Maryland,” the lawmakers said via release. “Alongside our state partners and community leaders, we remain committed to protecting our environment for future generations. This investment will go a long way in doing just that while also supporting our local economic growth.”

The ARC is a regional economic development agency that represents a partnership of federal, state, and local governments. Established by Congress in 1965, ARC is comprised of the governors of the 13 Appalachian states and a federal co-chair, who is appointed by the President. Local participation is provided through multi-county local development districts.