Rend Trail is a 9.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Thurmond, West Virginia that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.
Fun for all levels. Very scenic. This is probably one of my favorite trails to ride my mountain bike. Not only is there great scenery but there is a bit of history with the train station as well. I typically start out at the parking lot that is gravel by the train station then head on the pavement towards the Thurmond-Mindon trail head. From then on it is a slight railroad grade climb, and boy is it amazing how much you climb with as minimal effort! There are several wooden bridges that you will come across which is very nice-- complements the scenery. You will first come to an overlook that you can see the train depot. Next there was a rock slide but the park service made some stairs that you can easily get across, but be careful because the bridges and these stairs are VERY SLICK if they are wet. At the End of the trail there is a gait. You can either choose to go back or continue onward which is what I like to do. Make a right on the Pavement, then at the next intersection you will again make a right by the ACE sign. From there you will see a trail on the right hand side of the road you will take. Continue on that until you see the Eskin trail. Go up that and follow the ridge around. That is basically as high as you will climb upwards. At the end of Eskin you will make a right on a bus road that one of the rafting companies use for access to the New River. Be careful because it is steep and there are vehicles that travel on it. Then you will come to a white pillar on the left close to the bottom which is another trail that shoots back downstream. Do not take this for this will lead you to Cunard, but look ahead and take the trail that you will see on the right hand side of the road ahead of you. From then on it is a straight... well almost straight shot back towards the road and parking lot. You will first go across you last wooden bridge and eventually finish up on the pavement. Go on down to the train station for a history lesson while your at it :)
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."
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!