A $10,000 grant from the state Legislature helped pay for the improvements, and Coal River Energy donated equipment and labor.
Jane Shuman said she hopes the trail will keep her son's memory alive, but she's most excited about seeing his name attached to something that can bring peace to others.
"I always hope people are thinking about Willy, but mainly I hope they're getting some pleasure out of the trail -- it's a peaceful place. It's about communing with nature where you can be with yourself and your thoughts," she said.
GW student Grant Lares, who has similar goals and aspirations as Willy Shuman, said the trail represents what the JROTC experience is all about.
"ROTC isn't just about drill and practices, it's about leadership and teamwork, and this project shows that. We all came together to make this work so that we could beautify our area and honor a former student," he said.
Student Zaviae Walker was working hard putting the finishing touches on the trail Tuesday and said he became involved in ROTC because of his experience at the Willy Shuman Leadership Club.
The club pairs area eighth-graders with high school seniors to promote positive behavior and help teens find their place.
"For me, it made me want to prove to myself, and everyone else, that I could be a good student and good person," Walker said. "Now, I always instantly offer to help out with any project. I volunteered for this before I even knew what it was."
Reach Mackenzie Mays at mackenzie.m...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5100.