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West Virginia

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Greenbrier River Trail North Bend Rail Trail White Oak Trail
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Greenbrier River Trail

The Greenbrier River Trail, part of the West Virginia State Park system, runs 78 miles between Chadwell and Cass, WV, paralleling the scenic Greenbrier River on old railbeds. The gravel surface was mostly easy to ride, and with mild grades of no more than 1% this is an easy ride. We biked the southern portion from Caldwell to Anthony and a section at Marlinton (about 2/3 of the way up). We hope to visit more of the trail, its two tunnels, and the northern terminus at Cass in the future. Other uses are hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing. (Trip report: May 2015)


View larger map
Location: Caldwell to Cass, WV (See map, left)
Distance: 78 miles
Surface: Gravel, some paved
Support and Advocacy: Friends of the Greenbrier River Trail
More information (open in a new window):
- West Virginia State Parks - Greenbrier River Trail

Biking at Greenbrier River Trail

Chadwell to Anthony

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Start of trail at Caldwell Many walkers at the southern end, closer to town Trail has many benches to stop and view the scenic Greenbrier River Several campgrounds are available, access by trail or water Several little waterfalls cascade down along this section
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View of the Greenbrier River
and some rapids
Along the Greenbrier River Trail Another campsite,
at mile marker 13
Another view of the river from the trail Trailhead at Anthony

Marlinton

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At Marlinton, we enjoyed the
paved trail
Old railroad station and rail cars Trestle bridge near Marlinton over
Knapps Creek
View of the river
near Marlinton
Steam engine water tower near Marlinton, remnant of the railroading past

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North Bend Rail Trail

The North Bend Rail Trail is part of the West Virginia State Park system and a component of the coast-to-coast American Discovery Trail. It runs 72 miles on an old B&O railbed from Parkersburg to Wolf Junction (near Clarksburg), paralleling US Route 50. The scenic trail features 12 tunnels (10 passable, bring lights) and 36 bridges. (There once were 23 tunnels, but the remainder were "daylighted.") Read more about the tunnels and bridges here.

The dirt/stone/gravel surface is mostly easy to ride, the grassy sections were more challenging. Mild grades of no more than 1.5% were appreciated by us Florida flatlanders. We biked sections of the trail at Eaton, Cairo, Ellenville, and Salem, including 6 tunnels, and visited other trailheads. The trail is very remote, but some of the towns have facilities, food and lodging. Benches and picnic tables are provided along the trail. (Trip report: June 2016)


View larger map
Location: Parkersburg to Wolf Junction (Clarksburg), WV (See map, left)
Distance: 72 miles
Surface: Gravel, dirt, crushed stone, grass
Support and Advocacy: North Bend Rails to Trails Foundation
More information (open in a new window):
- West Virginia State Parks - North Bend Rail Trail

Biking at North Bend Rail Trail

Parkersburg Trailhead at Happy Valley
The Happy Valley trailhead is about 1 mile from Parkersburg (western terminus)
off route 47 to Happy Valley Road. Parking, picnic tables.

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Happy Valley Trailhead Entrance to trail from parking Along the trail Road crossing Along the trail

Walker
We stopped at the point where the trail crosses Walker Road;
roadside parking, picnic table.

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Trail crosses the road Trail entrance Along the trail

Eaton
We biked from Eaton Station (parking only) to Tunnel #21, at 1,840 feet it's the second longest tunnel. The trail is hard packed and easy to ride through this section,
the tunnel was mostly smooth.

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Trail at road crossing Along the trail toward tunnel Tunnel #21 Along the trail
past the tunnel

Cairo
Cairo is a quaint village with restaurants, shops, and a bike shop. We biked
to Tunnel #19, the Silver Run Tunnel - 1,376 feet, smooth ride.

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Town of Cairo, bike shop/general store on the right Old bank building is now North Bend Rails to Trails Foundation headquarters Bridge over north fork of Hughes River, leaving Cairo Trail entrance
at Cairo
Along the trail
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Approaching
the tunnel
Silver Run Tunnel is reported to be haunted - but we saw and heard nothing! Homes along
the trail
Returning
to Cairo

North Bend State Park
A link from the park runs to the trail, we biked from here to two tunnels. The trail was hard packed and easy to ride. Tunnel #13 at Bond's Creek is 353 feet. Tunnel #12 is 577 feet. Both were smooth rides.

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Trail parking at park Bike concession Link from park to trail Onto the trail
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Tunnel #13. Here in  1956 a train wrecked and fell into Bonds Creek, killing 2 people and injuring 45 Picnic tables Tunnel #12 Exiting the tunnel Along the trail
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A Rails-To-Trails Conservancy "sojourn" on North Bend Trail happened to be taking place at the same time we were there. Camping out for three nights wasn't on our agenda, but we caught some shots in the State Park. Ferrying personal belongings between camp sites

Ellenboro
Ellenboro is noted for its glass and marble factories; food, hotel, and facilities are available. We biked both ways from the overpass over Route 16 (the steepest grade on the trail). Westbound, the trail went past a mostly industrial area so we went back to the overpass and proceeded eastbound to Tunnel #10, the Dick Bias Tunnel. It's 377 feet, and notable for being carved through solid rock. Damp but rideable

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Overpass at Route 16 Parking at
overpass
Onto the trail
 at the overpass
Westbound, trailer park and
industrial area
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Eastbound at Route 16 overpass Route 50 underpass One of several bridges over creeks along this section Dick Bias Tunnel

Salem
Salem was settled in 1794, and has food and lodging available. We parked at the B&O train station and biked to Tunnel #2, which runs 1,086 feet; rough and wet. This was our least favorite section of the trail, running along the road in parts and some overgrown grassy spots to push through.

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B&O train station Trail at Salem Along the road A road crossing Restroom and picnic pavilion
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Along the road Overgrown grassy section Bridge crossing Tunnel #2; puddles and rough

Wolf Summit (eastern terminus)
At the road crossing we saw a short section of trail that was mostly overgrown.

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White Oak Rail Trail

Not a destination trail, but a pleasant paved trail in Oak Hill, WV. The trail is a "Y" shape, with parking at the scenic White Oak Railroad Depot. Runs through town, and also more rural areas. (Trip report: May 2015)


View larger map
Location: Oak Hill, WV (See map, left)
Distance: 8 miles
Surface: Paved
More information (open in a new window):
- Rails to Trails Conservancy - White Oak Trail
- White Oak Trail Expo
Biking on White Oak Trail
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White Oak Railroad Depot
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Trail end at Oakwood Trail end at Jones
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We admired the many flowers along the trail

More information on biking in West Virginia (opens in a new window):
- Rails to Trails Conservancy-Bike Trails in West Virginia

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