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New River Gorge National Park and Preserve Hiking

Hiking at New River Gorge

New River Gorge National Park and Preserve provides a variety of different trails throughout the park. Peaceful forest trails, superb overlooks, and historic scenery are all found here. The trails available consist of park service trails that are marked and maintained, trails within lands administered by state parks, and undeveloped trails and abandoned roads.

Trails range from 1/4 mile to 7 miles in length. Several can be easily connected to make for longer excursions. Difficulty varies from flat, smooth walking to steep challenging terrain. Trail recommendations and maps are offered at Canyon Rim, Grandview, Sandstone, and Thurmond visitor centers. Much of the land within the national park and preserve authorized boundaries remains private property: please respect the owners' rights.

Grandview Area Trails

If you had to choose just one area to hike and view the park, Grandview would be a great choice for your destination. Grandview has six miles of hiking trails, offering unsurpassed views of the deepest section of New River Gorge. The trails of Grandview range from easy to strenuous and can be hiked in their entirety or in various shorter segments.

The trails of Grandview also provide excellent opportunities to view wildlife; deer, fox, bats, skinks, box turtles, and a great variety of birds including wild turkey, several species of raptors, song birds and ravens.

Grandview Rim Trail

(formerly Canyon Rim Trail)

This is the longest trail at Grandview, connecting Main Overlook with Turkey Spur. From Main Overlook to Turkey Spur is a moderate 1.6 mile hike (3.2 miles round trip). Along the way hikers will enjoy many breathtaking views of the gorge and river far below. The trail is rated moderate because of several small steep hills near Turkey Spur. A self-guided trail brochure interprets the first half mile of this trail.

The trail begins at Main Overlook and ends at the Turkey Spur Overlook. The road to Turkey Spur allows for an easy return or for a vehicle shuttle for those not wishing to hike back.

Little Laurel Trail

This strenuous trail connects Grandview with the New River 1,400 feet below. The trail follows an old road for two miles as it descends to the river, passing by the site of an old coal mine at Royal. The road descends steeply in some places with a total elevation change of around 1400 feet. This change in elevation provides an opportunity to view a great diversity of spring wildflowers.

The Little Laurel Trail begins at the parking area for shelter #3 and #4. The lower trailhead is on the Glade Creek Road. From Beckley follow Route 41 towards Prince. Just before the bridge that crosses the New River is a gravel road on the right that leads past the trailhead. Follow the signs toward Glade Creek (Royal Road). The trailhead (an unmarked gated, gravel road) is just ¼ mile down this road on the right near the scattered foundations of the coal town of Royal. Please do not block the gate; the road is still used by park staff as an administrative road.

Castle Rock Trail

This strenuous 0.6 mile trail begins near Main Overlook and ends where it intersects the Grandview Rim Trail, approximately ½ mile from Main Overlook. Hikers will find close-up views of towering fortress-like rock walls and exposed coal seams. The Castle Rock Trail and Grandview Rim Trail can make a great one mile loop. This loop will take hikers below the overhanging cliffs on the Castle Rock Trail and then alongside the outstanding viewpoints on the Grandview Rim Trail.

This trail is considered strenuous and is not recommended for young children because of uneven footing and steep drop-offs.

Woodland Loop Trail

Explore the rich forest on this leisurely 0.6 mile loop. A variety of wildlife can be seen on this quiet trail including turkey and deer.

One end of this trail begins near the entrance of Grandview Shelter #2 parking area (just up from the restrooms), while the other end comes out at the shelter #2 playground.

Big Buck Trail

This easy 0.9 mile trail loops through a rolling section of forest. Tree identification signs along the way celebrate the great diversity of flora found in the Appalachian forest.

The trail begins and ends near Grandview Shelter #2

Tunnel Trail

Cool off along Grandview's shortest and shadiest trail. The moist earth, lush vegetation, and cold-to-the-touch sandstone walls make a stroll along this forest trail a special experience, even on the hottest day. The ½ mile trail passes several tunnels in the rock and passes beneath a large rock overhang.

One end of the Tunnel Trail begins off the walkway to the Main Overlook, while the other end comes out near the baseball diamond and playground, off the Main Overlook parking area.

Glade Creek Trails

Glade Creek Trail

This 5.6 mile trail follows an abandoned narrow-gauge railroad along Glade Creek. The trail offers an enjoyable stroll at a very moderate grade, and is popular with hikers of all ages and abilities, as well as being a favorite destination for those in search of swimming holes. A number of cascades and small waterfalls add to the trail's attraction. The lower part of Glade Creek is also a WV Catch & Release trout stream, so bring your fly rod or fishing pole along with you. A footbridge crosses Glade Creek three miles up from the New River. Below the footbridge the trail can be narrow and rocky.

To get to the lower trailhead at Glade Creek Campground:

From Beckley From Route 19 (Eisenhower Drive), take Route 41 north toward Prince. Turn right onto the Glade Creek Road, just before the bridge at Prince. Follow the gravel road seven miles; it ends at the Glade Creek trailhead.

From Fayetteville Follow Route 19 south; take the Glen Jean exit. Turn right onto Route 61 south; follow Route 61 for 2.8 miles. Turn left, staying on Route 61, and continue for another 4.6 miles. Turn left onto Route 41 north; follow Route 41 for 4.0 miles toward Prince. Turn right onto the Glade Creek Road, just before the bridge at Prince. Follow the gravel road 7.0 miles; it ends at the Glade Creek trailhead.

To get to the Upper Trailhead:

*A high clearance four wheel drive vehicle is recommended for this road; be prepared for steep terrain, tight switchback curves, and muddy conditions.

Take Grandview exit 129 off I-64. Turn south on WV Route 9. Travel 0.5 miles toward Little Beaver State Park (junction with WV Route 307 in 0.3 miles). Turn left onto unmarked gravel road (just before Fire Tower Road). Follow this road down to Glade Creek (about one mile). Cross the bridge for trailhead parking.

Kates Falls Trail

This is a very short 2/10 mile, steep spur trail leading from the Glade Creek Trail to Kates Falls.

The Kates Falls Trail is accessed off the Glade Creek Trail, 1.5 miles upstream of the footbridge crossing Glade Creek.

Kates Plateau Trail

Look for signs of beaver, deer, and turkey as you follow old logging roads. The 5.1 mile trail passes through fields, forests, and near wetlands. Initially the trail passes under Interstate 64, then crosses Kates Branch. The creek crossing of Kates Branch can be challenging and involves some steep terrain. The trail is marked by blazes through the forest and includes one steep section. The section of the Kates Plateau Trail that connects Upper Glade Creek to the Kates Plateau Loop is currently closed due to a slide.

To reach the trailhead: There are two approaches to the trail. The access from Glade Creek is currently closed due to a slide. You can access the trail from Polls Plateau: Take I-64 to exit 133 (Bragg). Exit the highway and head north for 0.8 miles, following the main road. Turn left at a church onto Polls Branch Road. Follow that to the parking area at the end of the road.

Polls Plateau Trail

Cross several creeks on this 4.9 mile trail that passes through an upland forest and past an old farmstead. Some of the trail follows an old roadbed; the route may not be obvious due to drainages and other old roadbeds.

This access from Glade Creek to the junction with the Kates Plateau Trail is currently closed due to a slide. The trail can be accessed from Polls Branch Road: Take I-64 to exit 133 (Bragg). Exit the highway and head north for 0.8 miles, following the main road. Turn left at a church onto Polls Branch Road. Follow that to the parking area at the end of the road.

Sandstone-Brooks Area Trails

Sandstone Falls Boardwalk

Sandstone Falls is a sight that should not be missed. This is the largest waterfall on the New River spanning 1500 feet across. Divided by islands, the falls drop from 10 to 25 feet. A ¼ mile, handicapped accessible boardwalk crosses two bridges leading to islands and observation decks offering fantastic views of the falls and access to fishing areas. The boardwalk passes through the Appalachian riverside flatrock community, which contains a rare assemblage of plants found in only a few places along several high-energy Appalachian rivers. The flatrock community contains many plants that grow nowhere else in New River Gorge.

To reach Sandstone Falls, follow River Road (WV Route 26) from the west end of the WV Route 20 bridge in Hinton. Follow this narrow road along the river for nine miles to Sandstone Falls. The unpaved parking area will be on your right. River Road is single lane in places; please drive slowly and use extra caution.

Island Loop Trail

The Island Loop Trail is an easy ½ mile trail that loops around the largest island below Sandstone Falls. The island was once farmed, grazed, and timbered, and a grist mill once operated here. Today, hikers can observe the natural succession as the old fields transition back to forest.

This trail starts and ends on the Sandstone Falls Boardwalk.

Gwinn Ridge Trail

South of Sandstone Visitor Center on the east side of the New River off Brooks Mountain Road is the Gwinn Ridge Trail, a three mile loop through a ridge top forest. The south branch of the moderately strenuous trail follows the edge of the ridge where hikers can sometimes (in winter) get views through the trees. It then descends off the north side of the ridge, climbs back up, and loops back to the starting point. The trail can sometimes be difficult to follow in places.

To reach the trailhead, follow Brooks Mountain Road from Route 20 for 2.5 miles to a small parking area at the trailhead.

Big Branch Trail

On the west side of the river at Brooks Falls is the Big Branch Trail. This strenuous trail creates a 2 mile loop that is especially scenic in the early spring when wildflowers are in bloom. It can be a great place to see the early bloomers like trout lilies, spring beauties, toothwort, and bloodroot. Taking the left or south branch of the loop, the trail crosses and follows a stream, passes several nice waterfalls and the ruins of an old farmstead, and climbs moderately up to the ridge top. Several good views of the gorge and the river can be seen through the trees from the ridge top. The trail then descends very steeply down to the trailhead, offering scenic views of Brooks Falls through the trees.

To reach the trailhead, follow River Road (WV Route 26) from the west end of the WV Route 20 bridge in Hinton. Follow this narrow road north along the river for five miles to Brooks Falls. River Road is single lane in some sections; please drive slowly and use extra caution. Parking is at Brooks Falls Overlook; cross the road to the trailhead.

To learn more about the history of the Big Branch Trail check out Discovering Berry Holler and the Big Branch Trail.

Sandstone Falls Overlook

See all of Sandstone Falls at this scenic overlook, 600 feet above the river. This short, gravel walkway descends briefly from the parking lot to the viewpoint. The total distance is only 1/10 mile.

This roadside pull-off is on WV Route 20, three miles south of I-64 exit 139 and the Sandstone Visitor Center, or 8.5 miles north of Hinton.

Fayetteville Area Trails

Many of the trails in the Fayetteville area were designed and built by volunteers. Some of the trails existed before the park acquired the property, but needed maintenance or trail re-routing. The park was assisted in some of the preliminary trail design and construction by a Trail Care Crew from the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA).

Local volunteers from schools, scout groups, and bicycling and hiking clubs donated hundreds of hours of work to make these trails possible.

The trails in the Fayetteville area can be accessed from a number of different trailheads, and allow connections to trails in the Kaymoor area (and beyond). The most popular trailhead is probably located at the Fayetteville Town Park, where visitors also have access to the town playground, a .5 mile paved walking trail, and might be able to take in a baseball or softball game.

Burnwood Trail

(formerly Laing Loop Trail)

1.2 miles (1.93 km) easy

This enjoyable 1.2 mile loop trail leads through rich forest and rhododendron thickets. The trail then follows the edge of an open field, loops back through the forest, and returns to the field. This area was a former home site of the Laing family. Clues of this history can be glimpsed along the trail.

To reach the trailhead, park at the Burnwood Day Use Area across U.S. Route 19 from Canyon Rim Visitor Center in Lansing. Look for the trailhead sign just past the restroom facility at the end of the parking lot.

Canyon Rim Boardwalk

0.1 miles (0.16 km) easy + strenuous (lower overlook)

This boardwalk offers scenic views of the gorge and New River Gorge Bridge. An easy walk on a fully accessible ramp leads to the first viewing point, while 178 steps descend to the lower overlook.

The trail starts at the Canyon Rim Visitor Center parking lot off U.S. Route 19 in Lansing.

Endless Wall Trail

2.4 miles (3.86 km) moderate

The Endless Wall Trail is a 2.4 mile moderate walk that passes through rich forest, crosses Fern Creek, then zig-zags along the cliff edge. Many vistas can be seen along the trail. The overlook at Diamond Point provides a good turnaround spot, creating a popular two-mile out-and-back hike from Fern Creek parking area. If you continue to the end of the trail, you will need to walk for 0.5 miles back along the road to get to the starting point.

Great views of the New River, almost 1000 feet below, are abundant. You can often hear the voices of whitewater rafters as they experience the wild rapids of the lower New. This area also offers significant historical resources, being the site of the Nuttallburg Mine — the largest mine in the New River Coalfields in the late 1800s.

You might also get a glimpse of some of the thousands of rock climbers who visit the park to challenge themselves on the vertical sandstone walls that rim the gorge. Climbers come from all over the United States, and around the world, to select from the over 1600 climbing routes in the park.

Please use caution when near cliff edges!

To reach the trailhead, turn off Route 19 on Lansing-Edmond Road, located just north of the Canyon Rim Visitor Center. Fern Creek Trailhead is located 1.3 miles (just before Fern Creek) down this road, while the Nuttall Trailhead is 1.8 miles from U.S. Route 19. This is a narrow road; please drive with caution.

Bridge Trail

0.86 miles (1.38 km) strenuous

This occasionally steep and rocky trail offers views of the gorge and the New River Gorge Bridge. The trail passes under the bridge and connects to the Fayetteville Trail.

To reach the trailhead, turn off Route 19 at the sign for Fayette Station Road, south of the New River Gorge Bridge. At 0.8 miles, turn right for the trailhead parking.

Fayetteville Trail

3.96 miles (6.37 km) strenuous

This trail connects Fayette Station Road, the town of Fayetteville, and Kaymoor Top with hiking access to Long Point. Be prepared for a creek crossing and up and down terrain. Connections can be made to the following trails: Kaymoor, Bridge, Park Loop, Timber Ridge, Long Point, Butcher Branch, Kaymoor Miners, and Craig Branch.

To reach the Wolf Creek Trailhead: Turn off U.S. Route 19 onto Lansing-Edmond Road (Route 5), located just north of Canyon Rim Visitor Center. Follow signs for State Route 82, turning right onto Fayette Station Road, then fork to the left. Cross the New River on the Tunney Hunsaker Bridge, and continue for 1.2 miles to the small parking area on the left. Please do not park on the road; obey the parking signs.

To reach the Kaymoor Top Trailhead: From U.S. Route 19, follow State Route 16 south through the town of Fayetteville. Take a left on Gatewood Road (park signs indicate Kaymoor and Cunard). Follow Gatewood Road 2.0 miles and turn left at the Kaymoor sign (Kaymoor No. 1 Road). Follow this road about one mile to the intersection; turn left. Parking is 50 yards on the right. This trail starts at the end of the parking area.

Park Loop Trail

1.1 miles (1.7 km) Easy

The Park Loop is an enjoyable loop trail that begins at the Town Park in Fayetteville, with a connection to the Fayetteville Trail.

To reach the trailhead: From Court Street (State Route 16) in Fayetteville, turn left on Fayette Avenue, then right onto Park Drive. Follow signs toward Fayetteville Town Park. At the stop sign (Town Park) continue on Park Drive 0.2 miles; turn right onto driveway to trailhead parking area.

Timber Ridge Trail

1.0 miles (1.6 km) easy

This old, forested roadbed provides access to the Fayetteville Trail near Wolf Creek.

To reach the trailhead: From U.S. 19, follow Route 16 south through Fayetteville. Turn left on Gatewood Road (Kaymoor and Cunard sign). Follow Gatewood Road for 2.0 miles, and turn left on Newton Road. The trail begins 50 yards up on the left.

Kaymoor Trail

8.6 miles (13.84 km) moderate

Please note: The slope above a portion of the Kaymoor Trail in New River Gorge National River has become unstable, forcing the park to temporarily close the trail from the Wolf Creek Trailhead at Highway 82 (Fayette Station Road) to the Kaymoor Miners Trail.

The Kaymoor Trail runs parallel with the middle of the gorge, passing the historic coal mine site at Kaymoor. The northern two miles of the trail, from Wolf Creek trailhead to the old mine site, follows an old road. Wayside exhibits interpret the Kaymoor mine operation and community along the way. After passing the mine site the forested trail continues toward Cunard. Connections can be made with the steep Kaymoor Miner's Trail at the mine site, or the Craig Branch Trail, 1.74 miles further down the trail from the mine site.

For your safety, please do not enter any of the abandoned structures in the Kaymoor area.

To reach the Wolf Creek Trailhead: Turn off U.S. Route 19 onto Lansing-Edmond Road (Route 5), just north of Canyon Rim Visitor Center. Follow signs for County Route 82, turning right onto Fayette Station Road (a very narrow road with hairpin turns), then fork to the left. Follow the one-way Fayette Station Road to the bottom of the gorge. Cross the New River on the Tunney Hunsaker Bridge and continue for 1.2 miles to the small parking area on the left at a hairpin turn. Please do not park on the road.

To reach the Cunard Road Trailhead: To reach the trailhead from Route 19, follow Route 16 south through the town of Fayetteville. Take a left on Gatewood Road (sign indicates Kaymoor and Cunard). Follow Gatewood Road for 4.6 miles and turn left at the sign for Cunard. Go 1.8 miles and turn left at both of the signs indicating Cunard River Access Road. Parking for the Kaymoor Trail is located 0.5 miles further on the right. The trail begins about 50 yards back on the other side of the road.

Kaymoor Miners Trail

1.0 miles (1.6 km) strenuous

This forest trail descends steeply 0.5 miles from the top of the gorge with stairs and switchbacks to the Kaymoor coal mine site, where it crosses the Kaymoor Trail. A view of the gorge is located 0.2 miles down the trail off to the right, before the stairs. At the mine site, a set of 821 steps continues down to the remains of the coal processing plant, coke ovens, and town site near river level.

Note: climbing, sitting, or walking on walls and other constructed features weakens them. Please leave historic structures and artifacts as you find them, where they help tell the story of the past. The railroad track at river level is active line and private property; do not walk on or cross the tracks.

To get to the trailhead: From US 19, follow WV 16 south through Fayetteville. Turn left on Gatewood Road (park signs indicates Kaymoor and Cunard). Follow Gatewood Road 2.0 miles, and turn left at the Kaymoor sign (Kaymoor No. 1 Road). Follow this road about one mile to the "T" intersection; turn left. Parking is 50 yards on the right.

Craig Branch Trail

2.4 miles (3.86 km) Moderate

This forest trail offers views of the river and gorge, plus it connects to the Kaymoor Trail, offering access to the historic Kaymoor coal mine site. There are several steep sections on this gravel trail (administrative road). Several Arrowhead Trails (Adena, Clovis, and Dalton) junction off this trail near the trailhead parking area.

To get to the trailhead: From US 19, follow WV 16 south through Fayetteville. Take a left on Gatewood Road (park signs indicates Kaymoor and Cunard). Follow Gatewood Road 2.0 miles, and turn left at the Kaymoor sign (Kaymoor No. 1 Road). Follow this road about one mile to the "T" intersection; turn right. Trailhead parking is 0.25 miles on the right.

Butcher Branch Trail

0.8 miles (1.29 km) Moderate

This wooded trail connects the Kaymoor Top area to the Long Point Trail, with a spur to the popular Butcher Branch climbing area. There are steep sections and a small stream crossing on this trail.

From US 19, follow WV 16 south through Fayetteville. Turn left on Gatewood Road (park signs indicates Kaymoor and Cunard). Follow Gatewood Road 2.0 miles, and turn left at the Kaymoor sign (Kaymoor No. 1 Road). Follow this road about one mile to the "T" intersection; turn left. Parking is 50 yards on the right.

Long Point Trail

1.6 miles (2.57 km) Moderate

This trail traverses field and forest on the way to a rock outcrop (Long Point) with panoramic views of the gorge and New River Gorge Bridge. Most of this trail lazily descends through the forest, but it does include one steep section just before you arrive at the point. Impressive views of the New River Gorge, Wolf Creek drainage, and New River Gorge Bridge are available from Long Point. CSX mainline railroad tracks are visible on both sides of the river, and the extensive cliffs of the "Endless Wall" are displayed across the gorge.

*Mountain bikes are permitted on all but the last 0.2 miles. Note: use caution around the unprotected cliff edges located at Long Point.

To get to the trailhead: From US 19, follow WV16 south through the town of Fayetteville. Turn left on Gatewood Road (sign indicates Kaymoor and Cunard). Follow Gatewood Road for 1.9 miles, and turn left on Newton Road. The trailhead parking area is 50 yards on the left.

Thurmond, Stone Cliff, and Cunard Area Trails

There are several easy to moderate hiking trails, many utilizing old roads and railroad grades, in the Thurmond area. The Rend, Southside, and Stone Cliff Trails are also open for biking.

Rend Trail

(formerly Thurmond-Minden Trail)

An easy grade and wide, smooth trail make the Rend Trail one of the most popular trails in the park. It is great for hikers of all ages and levels of fitness, and a great start for beginning mountain bikers. Hiking the entire trail involves a 6.4 mile round-trip journey, though many will choose a shorter 2.5 mile round-trip to the main overlook and back. Along the way, there are good views of Dunloup Creek, the New River, and the historic community of Thurmond.

This predominantly level trail crosses five railroad trestles and a short set of stairs that detour around an old rock slide. Several overlooks provide scenic views of Thurmond and the New River. This trail runs parallel with Dunloup Creek on the Thurmond end of the trail, where a few foundations of the town of South Boyd can be seen. Arbuckle Creek runs parallel with the trail at the Minden end.

This trail was originally constructed in 1906, as a railroad line to haul coal from the mines in Minden to the main line tracks in Thurmond. The rail line was abandoned in 1972, and now it is hikers and bikers that follow this historic route. There are five railroad trestles that are crossed along this trail.

Trail closure: The second bridge from the Minden side (1.27 miles from the Minden trailhead, or 1.96 miles from the Thurmond trailhead) is closed due to structural damage. The affected bridge will remained closed for the foreseable future. Bikers can travel 1.96 miles in from the Thurmond side or 1.27 miles in from the Minden side.

To reach the Thurmond Trailhead: From U.S. Route 19 north of Beckley, take the Glen-Jean-Thurmond exit. Take an immediate left and go 0.5 miles to Glen Jean. Turn right and follow the signs for Thurmond (WV Route 25). The trailhead is on the left, 5.1 miles down WV Route 25.

To reach the Minden Trailhead: Take the Main Street exit (Oak Hill) off U.S. Route 19. If coming south on Route 19, turn left and go 0.2 miles; if coming north on Route 19, turn right and go 0.1 miles. Turn left onto Minden Road and follow this for 2.1 miles. Take a right across a small bridge to the trailhead.

Brooklyn Mine Trail

This 2.7 mile hiking and equestrian Trail follows an old road through the forest to the Brooklyn coal mine site. Scenic views of the river through the trees can be found along the trail.

To reach the trailhead from Route 19, follow Route 16 south through the town of Fayetteville. Take a left on Gateway Road (sign indicates Kaymoor and Cunard). Follow Gatewood Road for 4.6 miles and turn left at the sign for Cunard. Go 1.8 miles and turn left at both of the signs indicating Cunard River Access Road. The parking area is just past the trailhead, located 0.5 miles further on the right.

Southside Trail

This easy seven mile riverside trail provides great views of the New River and passes through several abandoned New River Gorge mining towns. Rush Run, Red Ash, and Brooklyn were all once bustling communities located along this abandoned railroad line. The first mile from Cunard River Access is open to motorized vehicles.

To reach the trailhead from Route 19, follow Route 16 south through the town of Fayetteville. Take a left on Gateway Road (sign indicates Kaymoor and Cunard). Follow Gatewood Road for 4.6 miles and turn left at the sign for Cunard. Go 1.8 miles and turn left at both of the signs indicating Cunard River Access Road. Follow this road to the river access point, where parking is available. The first mile from the Cunard River Access is open to motorized vehicles. A parking area at Brooklyn marks the end of the maintained road.

Arbuckle Connector Trail

This steep and rocky trail connects the Rend and Southside Trails. Located 1.2 miles from the Thurmond end of the Rend Trail, just past the third trestle, this 0.3 mile connector trail drops off to the right. This trail also provides glimpses of the stonework and coke ovens of the former mining town of Wee Win.

Church Loop Trail

This 0.1 mile trail loops past the First Baptist Church of Thurmond. The trail loops off the Rend Trail about 0.7 miles up the trail.

Stone Cliff Trail

This moderate 2.7 mile trail follows an old road along the banks of the New River. Great views and easy access to the river are available along this trail.

From U.S. Route 19 north of Beckley, take the Glen-Jean-Thurmond exit. Take an immediate left and go 0.5 miles to Glen Jean. Turn right and follow the signs for Thurmond (WV Route 25). Continue for 6 miles to a three-way intersection. Bear right and go 1.5 miles on this road. Take a right on the gravel road, just before the bridge crossing the New River. Continue past the boat launch to the parking area. The trail begins beside the picnic area.

Nuttallburg Trails

Headhouse Trail

0.7 miles (1.13 km) Moderate

This gravel trail (administrative road) leads to the entrance of the Nuttall coal mine and top of the coal conveyor, used to transport coal from the mine to the processing area at river level. Learn more about this mine operation from exhibits at this site. Stairs next to the conveyor allow a closer look at the conveyor structure. Note: Climbing, sitting, or walking on walls and other constructed features weakens them. Please leave historic structures and artifacts as you find them, where they help tell the story of the past.

To reach the trailhead: Turn onto Lansing-Edmond Road (CO 5/82) off US 19 in Lansing, just north of Canyon Rim Visitor Center. Travel 2.5 miles, then turn right onto Beauty Mountain Road (CO 85/5). Travel 0.1 miles, then turn right onto the road just beyond Nuttall Cemetery Road. The small parking area is located next the gate, the start of the Headhouse Trail (administrative road). *NOTE: Lansing-Edmond Road is a small, curvy road. Use caution while driving and be prepared to cooperate with other drivers.

Conveyor Trail

0.8 miles (1.29 km) Strenuous

This steep, rugged trail zig-zags from the mid-bench level, not far from the mine entrance, to the old Keeneys Creek railroad line (trail). Views of the conveyor and gorge is visible from time to time, but be sure to watch your footing, for the trail surface is loose and slaggy (old coal debris from the conveyor) in many places. Evidence of this mine's operation is visible along the trail. Be sure to leave historic artifacts as you find them, where they help tell the story of the past.

This trail junctions off the Headhouse Trail and Keeneys Creek Rail Trail. See the directions to the trailheads for these trails.

Keeneys Creek Rail Trail

3.3 miles (5.31 km) easy

This former rail line once connected the mines and communities up Keeneys Creek to Nuttallburg and the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway mainline. Enjoy a leisurely stroll or bike ride on this wide trail that criss-crosses the rugged mountain landscape at a 4% grade. Here it is easy to see how the rugged terrain was a great challenge to those who constructed this railroad line over 100 years ago. This trail crosses under the conveyor, plus several trestle bridges offer spectacular views of scenic mountain streams, like Short Creek. Trail connections can be made from this trail to the Conveyor Trail and Town Loop Connector Trail.

To reach the trailhead: This trail has two small trailhead parking areas on Keeneys Creek Road. To get to these parking areas, turn onto Lansing-Edmond Road (CO 5/82) off US 19 in Lansing, just north of Canyon Rim Visitor Center. Travel 6.0 miles to Winona, then turn right onto Keeneys Creek Road (CO 85/2). Travel 2.0 miles to the first trailhead parking area, just past the second bridge. Travel an additional 1.5 miles down this road to the second trailhead parking area on the right. *NOTE: Lansing-Edmond Road and Keeneys Creek Road are both very small, curvy roads, including some single lane sections. Use caution while driving and be prepared to cooperate with other drivers; this may include reversing.

Winona can also be reached by traveling US 60 to Lansing-Edmond Road (CO 5/82) in Lookout. Travel 2.1 miles down Lansing-Edmond Road to Winona, then continue straight ahead 2.0 miles on Keeneys Creek Road (CO 85/2) to the first trailhead parking area or an additional 1.5 miles to the second parking area.

Town Loop Connector Trail

0.3 Miles (0.48 km) Moderate

Get a glimpse of Nuttallburg's community life on this trail through a residential area of Nuttallburg. Foundations of a home can be seen along the way; an exhibit in this area shows what life was like in this once bustling community. Note: Climbing, sitting, or walking on walls and other constructed features weakens them. Please leave historic structures and artifacts as you find them, where they help tell the story of the past.

This trail connects Keeneys Creek Rail Trail to Town Loop Trial.

Town Loop Trail

0.5 miles (0.8 km) Moderate

Get a glimpse of Nuttallburg's community life on this trail that loops around a residential area of Nuttallburg. Foundations of a church, school, and homes are visible along the way; exhibits in this area show what life was like in this once bustling community. Note: Climbing, sitting, or walking on walls and other constructed features weakens them. Please leave historic structures and artifacts as you find them, where they help tell the story of the past. Trail connections can be made from this trail to the Tipple Trail and Town Loop Connector Trail.

To reach the trailhead: Turn onto Lansing-Edmond Road (CO 5/82) off US 19 in Lansing, just north of Canyon Rim Visitor Center. Travel 6.0 miles to Winona, then turn right onto Keeneys Creek Road (CO 85/2). Travel 4.1 miles to the Nuttallburg parking area (accessable parking is located an additional 0.10 mile beyond the main parking area. *NOTE: Lansing-Edmond Road and Keeneys Creek Road are both very small, curvy roads, including some single lane sections. Use caution while driving and be prepared to cooperate with other drivers; this may include reversing.

Winona can also be reached by traveling US 60 to Lansing-Edmond Road (CO 5/82) in Lookout. Travel 2.1 miles down Lansing-Edmond Road to Winona, then continue straight ahead 4.1 miles on Keeneys Creek Road (CO 85/2) to the Nuttallburg parking area.

Tipple Trail

0.6 miles (0.96 km) Easy

This trail reveals both the industrial and community side of Nuttallburg through structures and exhibits along the trail. Travel down the trail (west) to see the conveyor and tipple system used in this operation, designed by Henry Ford in the 1920s. A long battery of coke ovens lies beyond the conveyor, where coal was processed into coke for use as fuel in steel production. You can also walk back on the road from the parking area to see remains of the clubhouse and site of the post office. Cross Short Creek bridge to get a glimpse into the life of African Americans who lived in this segregated community. Note: Climbing, sitting, or walking on walls and other constructed features weakens them. Please leave historic structures and artifacts as you find them, where they help tell the story of the past.

*Mountain bike riding is only permitted on the trail section that runs from the parking areas, crosses under the conveyor, and runs parallel with the top of the coke oven battery (see map). All visitors who want to see the front of the coke ovens or under the tipple structure must walk to these areas.

To reach the trailhead: Turn onto Lansing-Edmond Road (CO 5/82) off US 19 in Lansing, just north of Canyon Rim Visitor Center. Travel 6.0 miles to Winona, then turn right onto Keeneys Creek Road (CO 85/2). Travel 4.1 miles to the Nuttallburg parking area (accessible parking is located an additional 0.10 mile beyond the main parking area. *NOTE: Lansing-Edmond Road and Keeneys Creek Road are both very small, curvy roads, including some single lane sections. Use caution while driving and be prepared to cooperate with other drivers; this may include backing up.

Winona can also be reached by traveling US 60 to Lansing-Edmond Road (CO 5/82) in Lookout. Travel 2.1 miles down Lansing-Edmond Road to Winona, then continue straight ahead 4.1 miles on Keeneys Creek Road (CO 85/2) to the Nuttallburg parking area.

Seldom Seen Trail

0.3 miles (0.48 km) Easy

Seldom Seen served as a small residential community for some families of those employed at Nuttallburg. Follow this trail to the town site, where a foundation here or there are all that remain, evidence of an earlier time and life in the New River Gorge.

This trail junctions off the Tipple Trail at the downstream/west end of the coke oven battery, next to the foundation of the company store.

Hiking Safety

Hiking is always a fun way to enjoy the outdoors and spend a day, and New River Gorge National Park and Preserve offers some outstanding hiking opportunities. As with any outdoor activity, there are always potential risks. Knowledge and preparedness can reduce the chance of injuries.

Safety First:

  • Know the weather forecast and plan your hike accordingly.
  • Wear appropriate clothes and shoes for hiking.
  • Carry rain gear; sudden thunderstorms can occur at any time.
  • Bring a trail map (available at any visitor center). A compass or GPS is also a good idea.
  • Bring water and drink regularly; bring snacks or lunch for longer hikes.
  • If hiking alone, tell a friend where you will be going and when you expect to be back.
  • Stay on designated trails, and use extra caution around cliffs and overlooks.
  • During spring and summer, check for ticks.
  • Watch where you put your hands and feet; poison ivy, copperheads, and timber rattlesnakes occur in the park. Learn to recognize these potentially harmful inhabitants.
  • Hunting is permitted in the park; blaze orange clothing is recommended during hunting season.
  • Do not enter structures, mines, or coke ovens.
  • In case of emergency call 911.

Remember to help protect your national park by following these trail regulations.

  • All trash must be carried out.
  • All trails are closed to motorized vehicles.
  • Pets must be restrained and leashed.
  • Disturbing, destroying, and removing natural and cultural objects is prohibited.
  • Bicycles and horses are only permitted on designated trails.

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