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Pipestem converts underused area into RC car race tracks

Jan. 01, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

PIPESTEM, W.Va. -- Radio controlled (R/C) cars are enjoyed by kids and adults, often together.

"It's an outdoor activity. It's a lot of fun." said Paul Redford, lodge parks administrator with West Virginia's state parks, in a news release.

An advocate of outdoor recreation, Redford worked with the recreation staff at Pipestem Resort State Park to convert an underused ice skating area into two radio control race tracks.

People who grew up building or racing R/C cars are rediscovering the fun with their children and grandchildren at the park.

"There weren't tracks for this type of recreation in the Pipestem area," Redford said. "Pipestem's staff agreed the opportunity to create a new recreational outlet at Pipestem would add another outdoor option for families or R/C enthusiasts to use."

Radio control cars come in two basic forms: "toy" style cars or trucks that are at electronics and toy stores, and the "kit" type cars or trucks that are sold only at specialized hobby shops or mail-order companies and are available as a build-it-yourself kit or "Ready To Run." Toy-style cars are often advertised as "remote control," while hobbyists refer to kit-style cars as "radio control."

Pipestem sports both a 450-foot dirt terrain track and a 277-foot concrete NASCAR-style oval. The tracks were designed with the help local R/C enthusiasts. The race tracks are located adjacent to Pipestem's Recreation Center. This area includes an outdoor pool, The Short Course (a challenging par-3 golf course) and driving range, disc golf course, mini-golf, tennis courts and amphitheater. Weather permitting; the R/C tracks are open for remote control car use.

Pipestem boasts year-round nature and activities programs, a riding stable, large indoor pool, several restaurants, golf course, a fishing/boating lake, and miles of hiking trails. An aerial tramway is open from Memorial Weekend through late October. With adequate snow, cross country skiing and sledding are available. Equipment rental for winter sports is at the 18-hole Golf Shop. Some facilities at Pipestem are seasonal and close in the off-season. Hours of operation for the entire park are posted on the park website, www.pipestemresort.com.

Pipestem, like all state operated parks in West Virginia, has no entrance fee. The radio controlled race tracks are open for use at no charge. For more information about accommodations and things to do at Pipestem Resort, contact the park directly at 304-466-1800.

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