Rivers to Ridges

The blog of Rivers to Ridges Heritage Trail

Biking routes in Putnam County


With all of the quiet backroads and forested hills and valleys, Putnam County has countless options for road bikers and several great locations for mountain biking. We are working to print a brochure and publish information about several more well know routes, and encourage residence as well as visitors to get out and enjoy the area. In the coming month we will have the first brochure printed and have more routes mapped in time for the spring season. A route beginning and ending in Buffalo is above.


Hometown Park Cleanup Continues


Appalachian Electric Power, a great supporter of the Rivers to Ridges Heritage Trail, is assisting to remove about 20 stumps from Hometown Park.  The need comes from the continuing cleanup from the 2012 storms that all but destroyed the existing facilities.  With the trees and brush removed the stumps are the final items for this portion of the restoration.  The task is being carried out under the supervision of AEP and by its right-of-way contractor, Asplundn.  The stumps range in size from 24-inches to over 72-inches in diameter.

Book on local history now released


The new book, Along the Kanawha River, has now been released and is available for sale. The book tells of the importance of the river for several Putnam County towns including Buffalo, Eleanor, Winfield and Nitro, and documents the towns varied histories through many historic photographs. The book is presently available at the Buffalo/WV Rt. 62 Welcome Center in Buffalo (304-937-3088) and at the Putnam County Convention and Visitors Bureau Office at Valley Park (304-562-0727).

Joseph Phillips, the author, will also be hosting a book signing at the Poca Heritage Days on September 28th, where the book will also be available for sale.

Joseph Phillips Finishes VISTA Term


Joseph Phillips has completed his year of AmeriCorps VISTA with Rivers to Ridges. The native of York County, PA will be moving on to work for the National Park Service in Virginia. During his time with Rivers to Ridges, Joseph held the position of Interpretive Specialist and was responsible for developing a pictorial history book, “Along the Kanawha River,” and researching and designing signage for three interpretive wayside parks. The Navigational History of the Kanawha River was installed at the Winfield Locks and Dam fishermen access in May.

ImageJoseph (with Lowell Wilks and Mark Simonin) completed his time here in West Virginia on August 23.

Progress at Hometown

We have continued to work at Hometown Park to rebuild the two picnic pavilions, and with the help of the Putnam County Day Reporting program and several local builders we are close to having the park back in use. In the coming week the tables within the pavilions will be repaired and repainted, and eventually the wood structure will be treated.ImageImageImageImage

Rebuilding at Hometown Park


Rivers to Ridges has begun to rebuild the pavilions that were destroyed in the heavy winds the area had last summer. It was an effort to just clean up the park after the storm, so we are glad to be starting rebuilding at last. The Putnam County Day Reporting program will help with some of the work, and along with completing the new sign area, the park will again be a very nice outdoor space for the community.


Buffalo Park Gazebo

Rivers to Ridges completed a project giving a new facelift to the gazebo at the Buffalo Town Park.  The gazebo was painted and repaired in time for the annual Buffalo Independence Day celebration, which is one of the largest in Putnam County.  AmeriCorps VISTA members Mark Simonin and Joseph Phillips, and project coordinator Lowell Wilks worked on the project, with help from the Putnam County Day Reporting program. Buffalo will begin their 4th of July celebration at 1pm on Thursday with a town parade, and conclude it with fireworks at dark.



VISTA member Mark Simonin painting the second coat of white on the exterior trim


Project coordinator Lowell Wilks cutting new treads for the gazebo steps

Interpretive Wayside Completed at Winfield Locks and Dam

Rivers to Ridges recently coordinated a dedication event for a new interpretive wayside at the Winfield Locks and Dam site in Winfield. We would like to thank the West Virginia Humanities Council for their financial assistance in the project, as well as a generous donation made by Amherst Madison. We hope to have many more sites like this build along the byway in the future. Below are photographs taken during construction and at the dedication event.


Buffalo High School and Toyota Volunteer Day

Rivers to Ridges was privileged to support Toyota Motor Manufacturing of West Virginia with a volunteer workday at the new Buffalo High School.  The school is offering vocational agriculture classes and has had over three acres of land made available by Appalachian Electric Power (AEP) that will be used for various plantings and field trials.  Prior to the workday, which was supported by approximately 30 volunteers, many of them from Toyota, AEP also supplied assistance in helping to clear a section of tree line.  The area will be turned into a crop field.  In our attempt to not only promote heritage tourism, along the Rivers to Ridges Heritage Trail, but to preserve important pieces of our culture and history, we were pleased to support this project that educates students on our agricultural heritage.


Progress at the Hoge House


Framing and closing in the roof of the new addition.