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Gov. Justice welcomes Kawasaki to Hatfield-McCoy Trails

February 25th, 2024 by WCBC Radio

Gov. Justice today welcomed the Kawasaki team to West Virginia, home of one of the largest off-highway vehicle trail systems in the world. The brand chose the Hatfield-McCoy Trails in southern West Virginia as the backdrop to debut their new RIDGE® Side x Side. This week, more than a dozen top tier media will travel to the trails to experience the company’s newest machine and the world-class off-roading trails.  “I’m beyond excited that Kawasaki chose West Virginia to show off their new machine on our Hatfield-McCoy Trails,” Gov. Justice said. “These trails are a huge driver for tourism in West Virginia. I’m so proud of the hardworking folks running Hatfield-McCoy and all the small business owners along the trail; they’ve created the success responsible for this week’s tour. It’s truly an honor to have Kawasaki here.”

This week, the Kawasaki team and journalists who write for publications such as Men’s Journal, Gear Junkie and Dirt Sports Magazine will take the RIDGE® Side x Side on the Bearwallow and Rockhouse trail systems.  “West Virginia is home to some of the greatest off-road trails in the country,” Ken Essex, Kawasaki’s Sr. Manager of Public Relations said. “To launch the all-new Kawasaki RIDGE side x side we built a great Super Bowl ad. And when we were looking where to bring the media, there was no better place than the Hatfield-McCoy Trails system. The endless miles of trail and scenic rolling hills provide an unforgettable experience and with the premium enclosed cabin on the Kawasaki RIDGE you can enjoy riding year-round.”

The Hatfield-McCoy Trails have seen drastic increases in ridership in recent years; more than doubling permits sold in the past 8 years. Last year was another banner year with 92,000 permits sold, representing a six percent increase over the previous year. The authority expects another record-breaking year for the trail system in 2024.   “It’s so great to see West Virginia in the national spotlight once again. Having a brand like Kawaski chose our state as the backdrop for their product launch is a testament to the success of our rebranding efforts,” West Virginia Tourism Secretary Chelsea Ruby said. “I want to thank Governor Justice who has led those efforts and shown unwavering support of the Hatfield-McCoy Trails. We’ve seen a complete transformation along the trails in southern West Virginia and none of that would have been possible with the Governor and the amazing folks working at the Hatfield-McCoy Regional Recreational Authority.”

The Kawasaki RIDGE® Side x Side is designed to elevate the off-road experience for powersports enthusiasts and property owners alike. The machine is engineered with premium components and luxurious cab features, promising unparalleled comfort and versatility for riders navigating the trails, as well as those undertaking essential tasks on their properties. 

“We are excited to welcome our industry partner Kawasaki back to the Hatfield-McCoy Trails and are extremely appreciative of them for once again choosing our trails to host media from throughout the country to showcase their newest equipment and products,” Jeffrey Lusk, Executive Director of the Hatfield-McCoy Trails said. “We can’t thank Governor Justice enough for always championing the trail system. It’s incredible to receive so much support from the state level.”

The Hatfield-McCoy Trail System is one of the largest off-road vehicle trail systems in the Eastern United States. In the past 8 years, the organization has more than doubled ridership on the trails. Open 365 days a year, the trail system is a four-season travel and tourism destination that connects ATV-friendly towns across the southern coalfields.

The Hatfield-McCoy Trails System is specifically designed to accommodate all levels of riders from novices to pros. Each system has its own personality. While some systems are more scenic than others or extreme for others, each system has plenty of scenic views as well as rugged black trail terrain for those who desire more challenge in their riding experience.