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June 20, 2012

Canadian television crew begins filming Pocahontas Trail for ‘Dirt Trax TV’

BRAMWELL — A new group of ATV riders arrived in Mercer County this week with some equipment most riders don’t pack in their bags – motion picture cameras.

A television crew from Canada started shooting an episode Tuesday about the Pocahontas Trail, the latest addition to the Hatfield-McCoy Trail system. The crew came to the town of Bramwell to sign waivers in town hall before unloading their ATVs at the former Bluestone School, the future trailhead center. “The television show is called Dirt Trax TV,” said Jeff Pinkerton, marketing director for the Hatfield-McCoy Regional Recreation Authority. “It’s shown in the U.S. on the Outdoor Channel and in Canada on a couple of channels. This is the second one (show) here so far and we have a few others planned. We’re doing our part to promote the new addition to the trail system and the Hatfield-McCoy Trail as a whole.”

When a new trail branch is opened, veteran Hatfield-McCoy riders come to try it, plus it attracts new riders to the entire system, Pinkerton said. The Pocahontas Trail is particularly attractive since it connects to two other branches of the Hatfield-McCoy Trail – the Indian Ridge Trail in McDowell County and the Indian Ridge Trail in Wyoming County.

“This addition is not only good for the new areas, but good for the existing areas as well,” he said. “We’ve seen a big jump in permit sales, up 12 percent.”

The former Bluestone School outside of Bramwell should be ready for trailhead center duty next year, Pinkerton said. Its target date for opening is April 1, 2013.

“The ball is rolling, but it’s a slow-rolling ball,” Pinkerton said, adding that the center will likely become a primary stop for ATV riders coming to the southeast end of the Hatfield-McCoy Trail.

In downtown Bramwell, the Dirt Trax crew and the show’s sponsors, DiamondBack, was getting ready to head to the future trailhead center. Their ATVs stood on the company’s product, a platform mounted over their pick-up trucks’ beds; it allows the trucks to carry ATVs while freeing space in the truck bed.

The Dirt Trax TV episode should air on the Outdoor Channel within 6 to 8 weeks, said Luke Lester of Dirt Trax. Plans called for riding the Pocahontas Trail Monday, and doing local interviews most of today. Episodes are also available for viewing on the show’s web site, Lester added.

“We leave them (episodes) up almost indefinitely,” he said.

Lester, who had visited other parts of southern West Virginia, said Bramwell was appealing. The region’s coal mining past and its link to the Hatfield and McCoy feud is also appealing.

“Bramwell’s amazing,” he said. “I’ve been to other parts of West Virginia, but this is definitely the most quaint, well-kept town I’ve seen. I love the history of this area.” 

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