dogs on leash
A River Runs Through It A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. The park encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
We went about halfway up from the New River trailhead. Lovely. Almost all the way was easy walking on what appears to be an old logging road along the "creek". Wet in places. You can hear and see the creek the whole time. Lovely steel bridge 2.5-3 miles up from the New River end.
I had been planning to hike this trail until I found this at www.nps.gov. Just want to share with other users: "Glen Jean, West Virginia, September 11, 2014—Portions of the Rend Trail, formerly known as the Thurmond Minden Trail, will be closed effective immediately due to safety concerns. Federal highway engineers recently completed inspections on trail bridges throughout the park and discovered structural damage to one of the bridges on this popular hiking and biking trail. The damage occurred on the second bridge from the Minden side, 1.27 miles in from the Minden trailhead or 1.96 miles in from the Thurmond trailhead. The cribbing supporting the bridge has rotted and is no longer structurally stable. Engineers have stated that this bridge is no longer safe and can fail at any time."
At the beginning of the trail, there are two options. If you take the lower trail, just below the rim (marked #4 on the official trail maps), you are rewarded with a spectacular, rugged, difficult (but short, ~0.4 mile) hike that then joins with the main trail (#5) on top of the rim. Or you can take the #5 trail the whole way. Most of #5 trail is easy walking in very pleasant woods and rhododendrons. The views are truly spectacular. Great hike.
I fully agree with what is said on this trail description; I did it hiking and it is also a very enjoyable experience. The scenery is beautiful, and yes, the wooden bridges and some remains of the tracks add to the scenery. One can imagine how it looked like a century ago!
My boyfriend and I did this hike in late August and had a great time. The hike was relatively easy, and the views were amazing. We took a little bit of time to explore the climbing access ladders that lead to a lower level of the cliffside. Bring plenty of water, especially in hot weather, and bug spray to ward off the mosquitoes!