SCOTT COUNTY, Va. (WJHL) — The Scott County, Virginia Economic Development Authority is looking at ways to improve one of the county’s most popular tourist attractions.
The county’s EDA applied for a grant that would help improve the trails at Devil’s Bathtub.
Just this year, several rescues have had to take place due to the trail conditions at Devil’s Bathtub.
Funds from the grant would be used to make trail improvements, something hikers and Virginia residents say is needed.
“The trail really needs help because we were going over rocks, we were climbing around trees, avoiding roots,” said experienced hiker Stacy Anderson. “In fact, when we came back some people were lost. They were off the trail and lost and we told them how to get back on the trail.”
Devil’s Bathtub is arguably one of Virginia’s most visited trails bringing hikers from all over the country, but it’s not for the faint at heart.
“When you have a trail this popular safety has to be your up most concern,” said Pam Cox, Director of Tourism for Scott County.
Anderson is an experienced hiker, but even for her, the Devils Bathtub Trail is a tough one to follow.
“The longer the hike the better I like it but I’ve been hiking, well I’m 57 years old so I’ve been hiking ever since I was a child,” said Anderson. “I absolutely love it. That’s where I get my peace of mind is in the mountains.”
When she went to the Devil’s Bathtub though she said, “the trees have panted little swatches of paint on the trees and you really got to look for those because if you don’t you’re going to get lost.”
Scott County Economic Development Authority is now asking for a grant to help fix the trails.
“What makes it difficult is that there are 13 creek crossings, “explain Cox
“What they are hoping to do is renovate this trail so that is is easier to maneuver for folks,” she said, “It will re-rout part of the trail, and it will take into account some of the erosion we have seen.”
The proposed grant will close some mine portals in the area and overall make the trail safer for hikers.
“More people should be able to see this and they shouldn’t feel daunted by the hike. so if the trail is more maintained and more accessible I think more people would come and see,” Anderson said.
The total amount of the grant has not been disclosed.
As a precaution for all hikers, Cox said to make sure you follow all safety procedures when hiking the trails, like wearing the proper shoes, and check trail conditions before you go.