ST. PAUL, Va. (WJHL) – Clinch River State Park, the 41st in Virginia according to park officials, was officially opened and dedicated on Wednesday afternoon.
Gov. Ralph Northam and other park officials, politicians and community members were in attendance.
“Here at the Sugar Hill unit, we have about eight miles of hiking trails, we have over two miles of river access for fishing,” park manager Scott Bowen said. “There’s also about three and half miles of mountain biking as well.”
According to Bowen, the park is over 15 years in the making.
“There’s a lot of people in southwest Virginia’s been waiting a long time for the state park to get off the ground,” Bowen said. “This initiative has been going on for several years now, so it’s nice to finally see it come to fruition and be dedicated.”
Bowen is a Scott County resident and said he’s excited to see how the park supports the community’s local economy.
“It’s gonna be a great economic driver, bring in a lot of tourism, we’re kind of centrally located,” Bowen said. “We feel like for the long term, it’ll bring in a lot of visitors from Kentucky, and West Virginia, North Carolina.”
“It brings people to work, and so, for a lot of reasons its a win-win,” Northam said. “As governor, I’m the one that gets to go around and cut ribbons and announce jobs but the reality, and I’m so proud to be here today, but there’s so many people who have been working on this for a number of years.”