COAL RIVER GROUP
The CRG is a non-profit river restoration group that designed and maintains the Coal River Water Trail. The group has been instrumental in the amazing restoration of the three rivers in the watershed and continues to conduct restoration work on different sections of the rivers. Over the past 12 years the group of over 600 volunteers has scoured the banks and channels of the rivers to remove tons of tires, trash and even engine blocks. Their work has pulled together the many small communities located in the region for the purpose of making the rivers clean and a symbol of pride for the future of the state of West Virginia.
COAL RIVER GROUP- RIVER CENTER
The Coal River Science and education center located in Tornado, WV at Upper Falls of the Coal River has become the DESTINATION center for visitors who want to learn about the Coal River Water trail.
The beautiful log lodge that houses the center was donated by the Appalachian Structure Company from Spencer, WV. The 1,700 sq. ft. building provides visitors with a total package of information about the water trail as well as the history and culture of the 840sq. mile Coal River Watershed. Many events are centered on the Center including the annual Tour De Coal float trip which drew 1,000 kayak paddlers for the one day 12 mile event in 2014. A visit to the center is a must for every visitor who wants to learn more about the trail and the history of the watershed.
Major river restoration programs by the WV DEP working with the WV DNR and others have brought about a rebirth of the once silt choked Little Coal River. The transformation of the impacted river cost over $9 million and took over 7 years (using funding from Coal Company fines and mitigation funding). The restoration of the Little Coal was supported by the citizens of the region who physically pulled tons and tons of trash and tires from the 24 mile river bed. Together the cooperative effort has created one of the nation’s most succssful river restoration efforts and now provides the Water Trail with a wonderful asset to boost river recreation for the flatwater kayaking boom. For a river that was twice named the most endangered river in the nation the transformation is truly amazing.