Flying saucers have been spotted in the Friendly City but, luckily, without the little green men. A college pastime has grown into a legitimate professional sport and a great asset to our park systems. Disc golf is growing by leaps and bounds, providing outdoor opportunities for everyone. The city of Wheeling has just installed its first 18-hole disc golf course at the Marina on Wheeling Island. The Wheeling Island Marina disc golf course is a new recreational asset and a wonderful addition the most populated island on the Ohio River. The marina is located on the backchannel of the island on the Ohio River. The course starts in the marina parking lot and skirts the waterway that separates the states of West Virginia and Ohio. The first nine holes meander along the river bank with challenging shots and, of course, a large water hazard to players’ right. The back nine of the course loops back to the parking lot, providing great open field play.
The marina is owned by the Army Corps of Engineers and leased by the city of Wheeling. The city has been cutting the grass and maintaining the property since the park’s conception. The park boasts the city’s only public boat launch, a phenomenal picnic shelter, restrooms, an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) fishing pier, ample parking, and 7 acres of green space with walkways throughout. The backchannel has been designated as a no-wake zone for boaters and a popular paddling area for canoes and kayaks. The new disc golf course adds additional value to the linear green space bordering the river and clusters recreational development on the north end of the island. The marina area is adjacent to Bridge Park, which contains two ballfields, a playground, a basketball court, a swimming pool and the city’s only splash pad. The disc golf course aids in tying the two parks together.
The new development would not have been designed or built without the help of community volunteers. The city coordinated two separate volunteer days with local businesses to see this project through to fruition. Volunteers installed the baskets, picked up litter and cleaned the walkways from years of silt buildup from annual Ohio River floods. The sweat equity from community members spruced up a park and added a great new amenity to the city of Wheeling.