Pipestem Longbranch Lake Circuit is a 3.1 mile loop trail located near Pipestem, West Virginia and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, horses, and mountain biking and is accessible year-round. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.
Pleasant hike through wild-life rich mountains with wonderful lake views. Pipestem Resort State Park provides a great opportunity to enjoy the abundant beauty of Wild, Wonderful, West Virginia. You'll begin your journey on Den Tree Trail, located in the rear of the Arboretum. This interpretive trail has markers along the way providing info on the park wildlife. Keep an eye out for all sorts of animals including white-tailed deer and turkey. Seeing the fawns up close was a great treat for my 8 year old son. After the descent towards the lake you will interesect the Lake Shore Trail. The first half of this trail will be a series of small hills taking you above the lake. It is frequented by horses so during wet seasons expect the trail conditions to be quite muddy. As you approach the half-way point the trail will begin to hug the lake, providing some great views of a pristine mountain lake. As you near the end of the Lake Shore Trail you will pass a boat house where you can rent a canoe before climbing back up Den Tree Trail.
Started a leisurely walk from McKeever Lodge..exited the lodge and walked across the entrance road to the right and walked down the paved handicap access road to the right of the Arboretum (Long Branch Trail .3 miles) to the lake handicap fishing pier. Took the Lake Shore Trail (2.2 mile loop) left towards the dam. After crossing the dam the trail enters the woods a bit above the lake shore and one needs to be careful of the exposed tree roots which could cause a tripping, falling hazard. The trail starts out easy to follow but once you begin to follow it up a hollow away from the lake the trail seems to disappear, perhaps due to leaves carried down the hollow by rain,etc. I saw no blue blazes(I will admit I was not looking too hard for any until the trail began playing out). I continued up the hollow until I got to an old dirt road. I then began seeing blue blazes, marking the trail to the right.I was perhaps a little confused because the trail was called the Lake Shore Trail in the Pipestem State Park map and trail guide and I mistakenly assumed the trail would continue it's entire length along the lake's shore. From the trail's intersection with the old road it was easy to follow back to the handicapped fishing pier. At the intersection of the Lake Shore Trail with Lake View Trail I walked down to the lake for a nice view looking down toward the dam. There was a trash barrel there in need of being emptied. Back on the trail I encountered a couple of muddy spots but they were easy to avoid. Between the intersections of The South Side trail and Turkey Spur trail with the Lake Shore Trail I encountered a stream that went under the trail through 2 culverts. The upper side of one of the culverts was partially blocked by branches and leaves, and one was completely blocked and the bank was beginning to erode where water entered the one remaining partially open culvert. I performed a little trail maintenance by opening both culverts by removing debris from them. I saw several species of birds and a couple of squirrels,lots of side trails for fishing access to the lake and deer in the fields next to the road inside the park. A beautiful evening for a leisurely walk in the woods. Once I returned via the paved Long Branch Trail I walked through the Arboretum and read some of the placques describing some of the trees planted before returning to the lodge.