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Veteran reflects on building Elk Run Trail system

Woody finishes hanging the Elk Run Trail map sign.
Woody finishes hanging the Elk Run Trail map sign.(WHSV)
Published: Jun. 4, 2021 at 7:37 PM EDT
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ELKTON, Va. (WHSV) - The Elk Run Trail System will be officially recognized as under the town’s jurisdiction during a ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, June 4. This comes after one area veteran made it his mission to improve it using thousands of dollars of his own money.

In 2012 Scout Troop 46 in Elkton built a one third of a mile long trail that would eventually become Elk’s Run, today that trail is 18 miles long thanks to the work of one man.

“I have built this entire trail system with one steel chainsaw, one steel weed eater, a pair of loppers and nippers, and odd rakes and shovels, that’s it,” an area veteran who goes by Woody, said. “There were a couple years there that I was out here every day doing something, no matter snow, rain, sleet, just doing something to build the trails.”

Woody says the experience has been therapeutic for him in a way that other veterans can relate to. “There’s so much PTSD out there and there’s things that we have to do to be able to cope with normal life that most people don’t understand,” he said.

He began the project as a way to give back to the community and says the trails popularity is all the reward he needs for his hard work.

“When I see people out here walking I don’t ask for anything beyond that, that says to me what I’m doing is worth it,” Woody said.

One of the trails is the Ethan Zander Memorial Trail, dedicated to one of Woody’s former soccer players who spent many hours on the trails and was killed in a car accident back in 2015.

“He was part of my drive to do a lot of stuff out here also, it’s his memory that carries in my heart,” Woody said.

The ribbon cutting ceremony will take place Saturday morning at 10 a.m. at the trailhead behind the Elkton Community Center.

The trail system will now be able to receive state funds.

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