dogs on leash
cross country skiing
Well marked, well maintained with a beautiful view of the New River Gorge Bridge. Nice trail getting there. First 3/4 of trail is fairly easy. Last part is moderately difficult. At the end the trail narrows and has drop offs at both sides. I would not recommend trail for wee ones because of this. It's a popular trail. I saw many dog walkers there. we'll worth the hike.
Full disclosure - I did not hike the entire 18.8 miles. I began in Weverton and walked south for about 90 minutes and then headed back. (Still, 10,000 steps!) The trail is essentially a wide bike path covered in gravel. It's not a difficult walk. So, to make it difficult, I went off the path. After a good half-hour on the trail proper, I took a hard right and headed toward the river and then followed a less-maintained path along the river in the direction of Harper's Ferry. This, too, was not too difficult, and there's much more to see (and good pictures of the river, too). After an hour or so, I walked back to the gravel trail and then looked for a way to get to the railroad tracks, which run parallel to the trail. Talk about Americana! There was a freight train sitting there, so I walked alongside it. Oh, but then a train came in the opposite direction, and I thought of Stand By Me, so I moved off to the side. After the train passed and I came to the end of the idle train, it was just me, the sky, and the woods. And the tracks. Anyway, I did see birds and squirrels and a few monarch butterflies, and lemme tell you, it was cool. So the downside to this hike is that the trail is kind of dull - although it is flat and eminently walkable.
K T. on Rock City Trail
It's easy to lose the trail, but hard to get lost because there are so many people everywhere. The rock formations are amazing, and the walking is easy. Worth the trip.
K T. on Clay Furnace Trail
Short out-and-back hike through a beautiful forest strewn with large boulders. The furnace is huge and interesting to contemplate -- make sure to read the sign next to the furnace.
Beautiful hike, would consider this a very easy trail for experienced backpackers. Water was a bit cold but went for a swim anyways, creek crossings were great, did not have to take off boots or get feet wet. Trail was dry and in good shape. Would consider this trail again if was ever in the area again.
This trail provides a nice break if you've been driving I-68 a couple of hours. From the Coopers Rock exit, take Rt. 73 east to the bottom of the mountain. Just before the bridge, there is a small gravel parking lot with two signs, both difficult to see from the road. A third sign, a few feet into the trail, is overgrown with autumn olive. After navigating around a large rock, you come to a bridge with rotten-looking floor boards. We crossed this bridge without difficulty by staying over the supporting logs. At the junction we turned left and walked uphill gradually through a very nice hardwood forest. After about half a mile, we came to another junction. At 5:30 PM without a map, we thought it was best to turn right and walk downhill along the creek. We passed through an old stand of hemlocks. While I'm not sure if they are virgin timber, it was one of the oldest and healthiest hemlock groves I've seen in a while. At the bottom of the hill we thought we might be looking at a spot where hikers could ford the creek, possibly walking upstream to connect with the trail we didn't take. A few feet later, a sharp right turn took us back to approach trail. We walked about a mile overall.
The loop was much better maintained than the approach. We wondered if this trail has had inappropriate use, if it's a "best kept secret," or if it's primarily a WVU classroom for forestry students. I'd love to find a map and see if this connects with any other trails.