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W.Va. boat ramp gets a makeover

November 20, 2011|By RICHARD F. BELISLE | richardb@herald-mail.com

BLOOMERY, W.Va. — A boat ramp on the Shenandoah River was in such disrepair that ingenious fisherman had to create their own ramp on the bank next to it to launch their boats.

Doing so eroded the bank, said Jim Hedrick, a district fisheries biologist with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources in Romney, W.Va.

DNR officials and the Jefferson County Parks and Recreation Commission, owner of the ramp at the county’s Moulton Park on Bloomery Road off W.Va. 9, partnered in a joint venture to improve the site.

The commission leased the ramp to the state, which paid for the repairs and expanded the gravel parking lot that serves it. The state installed a wire barrier to control parking.

The boat ramp, in its deteriorated condition, was not usable, Hedrick said.

“It had an 18-inch drop-off at the end,” he said. “The water didn’t touch it.”

A 20-foot concrete extension was added to the end of the existing ramp, Hedrick said.

The remodeled ramp and parking lot will be listed on the DNR’s list of stream access points.

Jennifer Myers, interim parks and recreation commission director, said the county received an $80,000 state grant for Moulton Park improvements.

That includes a public 10-site tent campground beginning at the park and running a half-mile downstream. Picnic tables, built-in grills and a portable toilet are among the amenities.

A new guardrail along Bloomery Road also was added.

There will be an official opening of the facility in April, Myers said.

A sign in the parking lot shows that the renovation project was shared by both agencies.

Moulton Park is named for the family that donated the land for it to Jefferson County.

Hedrick said a popular boat ramp on the Potomac River in Shepherdstown, W.Va., also needs attention. Work on that project will begin in a few weeks, he said.

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