Former golf course near Opequon Creek in Martinsburg to become new public park

08 May 2024- The Berkeley County Commission last week unanimously approved an agreement that allows for creation of a park at the Stone Bridge public access site along Opequon Creek east of Martinsburg.

The terms of the agreement allow for improvements such as trail development and creating outdoor classroom areas in support of wildlife and fisheries education. The DNR has separately reaffirmed a commitment to building a boat slip at the Stonebridge site to improve boater access to the creek. Stone Bridge is among three DNR-designated access sites in Berkeley County on the Opequon Creek. 

The Martinsburg-Berkeley County Parks & Recreation Board has agreed to maintain the property and take the lead in making recreational improvements. 

“We want to thank everyone involved, including County staff, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources and the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Parks & Recreation Board for helping move this quality of life project forward,” Berkeley County Commission President Jim Whitacre said. 

“Federal grant funding is available to help improve public access to ‘water trails’ like the Opequon Creek,” said Matt Umstead, director of the Berkeley County Office of Strategic Planning and Communication. Water trails are a designated body of water that provides recreational, aesthetic, alternate transportation or educational opportunities to both motorized and nonmotorized users, for all ages and abilities.

Joe Burton, executive director of the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Parks & Recreation Board, told county commissioners on Thursday that Opequon Creek has potential for greater public use, and could eventually be opened for tubing, kayaking, canoeing and greater fishing access as a tourist-friendly water trail.

“It could really rival something like what Maryland offers with the Antietam Creek. I think this is an exciting kickoff for what may be to come in the future,” Burton said.