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Officials Say Flatwater Trails Could Be Part of the Economic Future For Southern WVa


In the late 1990s, Bill Currey and a friend were just two West Virginians with a love for the outdoors and fishing. After a fishing trip on a river, Currey was hooked on the idea of sharing West Virginia’s flatwater rivers with the world.
After working for about 20 years to create and develop standards for a flatwater trail system on the Little Coal, Big Big Coal, and Coal Rivers, Currey is chairman of the newly appointed West Virginia Flatwater Trails Commission.
It started with Currey’s big vision but took some attention to detail to create the first flatwater trail.
“If we could get (the rivers) cleaned up to an acceptable level for tourists coming from North Carolina and Virginia,” Currey said, “then we had a goldmine in terms of bringing tourism and helping the coalfield communities that were already suffering from a lack of jobs and closures of coal mines.
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