BURLINGTON - Over 16 hikers participated in a community hike at Larenim Park in Burlington on Sunday, Oct. 14.

BURLINGTON - Over 16 hikers participated in a community hike at Larenim Park in Burlington on Sunday, Oct. 14. 
The park is county-owned and has been in existence for over 40 years. It includes baseball and soccer fields along Patterson Creek Road, as well as hiking trails, an amphitheater, an arboretum, and two dam sites that offer fishing.
Although the ball fields get regular use, the other facilities seem to be underutilized. Boy Scouts from Troop 27 in Keyser recently completed a project of mapping and marking the hiking trails within the park. This has made it very easy to follow the trails. A large map is posted at the entrance to the park. 
    The community hike was organized by West Virginia University Extension office and Shannon Ritchie in cooperation with WVU Hospitals and the Mountain Milers with Tricia Barbarito. 
The idea for the community hike grew out of a discussion during one of the “Community Conversations” which are held periodically at Queen’s Point Coffee.  Allen Taylor, a retired teacher from Mineral County Schools, served as the naturalist for the hike and offered observations on the plant life along the way. 
The group hiked a little over three miles and was joined along the way by some other hikers. 
     The arboretum houses many varieties of trees, including some exotic species. Most of these are labeled and there is another proposed project to relabel all of the trees. The amphitheater has served for years as an outdoor venue for some theater productions, but is also not used to its fullest extent.  The community hike was organized to get the word out to local residents about this amenity as well as to promote the out of doors and healthy living. 
This type of activity helps to promote our local area much in the same way that the kayak trips along the North Branch of the Potomac have awaked local residents to the possibilities in our area. 
Future activities will be announced on the facebook page “Keyser area visitors and community information” and in the News Tribune.