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backpacking
8 days ago

Great trails and well maintained. Campsites have water and pit toilets available. great place to start backpacking.

I’m not sure who said this trail was well marked, but it certainly is not especially on the Barboursville end. Maybe I’ll try again in the winter time or on the other side, but this essentially seemed like walking through the vines behind someone’s house and the trail, if there is one, it is really hard to follow.

trail running
12 days ago

The trail was hard but very nice. It was well maintained and well marked at least for the Kanawha Trace Race.

We hiked this trail in late July and enjoyed large portions of it. The portion of the trail north of campground 3 was disappointing though. There were spider webs across the path probably about every 100 feet so you couldn’t really enjoy the hike or sites without that constant distraction.

camping
18 days ago

My friend and I camped one night and did the trail’s short loop. Parts of it are really muddy, so I would recommend wearing some waterproof shoes and bringing a change of socks. There were lots of campsites available, and it was easy to find! We had a great time!

Great trip! Did a 2 night backpacking trip for my first time ever backpacking. The pictures don’t do the actual views any justice. The scenery is unbelievable with mountains and and the reserve. Great for experienced backpackers or even first timers like me. Don’t overlook the elevation because there are parts of the trail that are entirely uphill (don’t let that discourage you). Great experience well recommended 10/10

Not a bad hike at all. Good short one if you just want to get out. Campsites are really nice ...it was a bit muddy but overall a solid place to get away.

backpacking
24 days ago

nice overnighter, lots of up and down hills. well marked trail

Went on my first backpacking trip here, Planned in doing the 16 mile overnight but accidentally took the short loop back, still was a great hike, beautiful huge pine trees and nice little inclines scattered throughout. I was expecting mud since it had rained recently and it certainly didn’t disappoint! Waterproof boots are a necessity on this trail. That said, all in all a great first backpacking experience I’d recommend.

This was my first time backpacking and was in fact the longest hike (did the long loop) I’ve ever taken in my life and I must say big mistake! It seems to me that I was a little too ambitious for my first time out and my leg gave up in the last two miles. Oh did I mention that I did this solo? Oopsie! I was able to limp my way out but lesson learned. I hope you like mud because there was a plenty of that and more. The trail was also pretty overgrown in mid July so expect plenty of brush and check for ticks often. I did encounter one but I caught it before I got bitten. Don’t get me started on the spider webs yuck! Even when swinging a trecking pole in front of me they’d still end up in my face.

I’d recommend getting some trail legs before attempting. I also managed to lose my Thermarest self inflating sleeping pad, I could have sworn I had it strapped down tightly but is still fell out without me noticing. Tried driving back to the campsite since it was about 1,000 feet from the road but nope, my cramping legs just weren’t having it. I didn’t find out till I got there but the board said not to drink the water due too activity (I assume agriculture byproducts?) in the area and you must pack in all water. Turned out 3 liters is not enough. To the people who left behind their extra water jugs, you are life savers! I’d say plan on 5-6 liters minimum.

Over all I had a good time and I learned some harsh lessons the hard way but if you’re up for the challenge I’d say go for it! Would I do it again? Yes but only after I get in better shape.

backpacking
1 month ago

My backpacking buddy and I completed this hike June 17, 2018. I had hiked there years ago and the experience was the same. Wonderful! There are some uphills and downs so I guess the moderate rating is on the mark. we hiked into the Morrison camping area for the night on the 16th and hiked out the next day. I rated this as 4 stars because on the way out we skirted much area that had been logged out and the trail was very tight with brush and small growth. These tight areas were made even more difficult because of the constant rain on the way out. trail maintenance is lacking in certain areas but over all it was a fun time.

camping
1 month ago

We did this loop as a family camping/backpacking summer trip. Our 5 kids ages 16 to 1 1/2 enjoyed it most of the time although some of the terrain was pretty intense for the younger ones. We started going clockwise at 11am on a Saturday and only met 3 other hikers before we got to the halfway camp by 3. Trail was well marked and several campsites/water crossings along the way. Hiked out Sunday in 4 hours and saw nobody. Beautiful trail and private. Would not do this trail again in 95+ degree weather but it would be a great spring/fall trip.

backpacking
1 month ago

I read all of the reviews before I left and Nothing in those reviews prepared me for this trail. The hills on this trail are intense and you will spend miles at a time going uphill. If you go counterclockwise the beginning is nice and relaxing but once you hit mile 4 the trail gets intense. It was well maintained but muddy everywhere. Its a nice trail that was well maintained but it should be listed as hard not moderate. The views were also not as exciting as I expected after all of the hype. It was exactly what you'd expect to see standing on the side of a mountain but nothing special.

Even after 4” of ran the previous day not really muddy. Creeks higher tricky to pass. Never saw a soul. Moderate. 2 mph possible for an out of shape old guy. Camp anywhere!

I did this hike out to Mile 0 after starting at 70 the week prior. The hills are rough, but some beautiful views. The coming down to the shelter from mile 7 is brutal!
An awesome hike! These last 6.5 miles, in my opinion, aren’t as a beautiful walk as the rest of the trail but still beautiful. Be sure to wear good shoes and carry water!

my wife and I were here about 3 weeks ago and the trail was really nice and enjoyable until the second day. we had camped about 6 miles in to the trail loved the campsite it was right next to the creek. upon us leaving the next day to finish the hike we noticed the trail markers strated to go away there weren't as many and the amount if huge trees down in the trail was ridiculous the trail at that time was not maintenance at all.

2 months ago

I wasn’t able to find the trail across from the first sentry bank; there’s hardly a sign where the app takes u through directions and is across from someone’s property so no parking there... then I went to first sentry Bank at intersection of mud river rd and us Rt 193; walked across the mud river rd and tried to find the trail but could not....

Could someone please guide me find the trail across from first sentry bank if it is there

trail running
2 months ago

Great trail and one heck of a challenge if it has recently rained, this can be one of muddiest trails I’ve ever trail run and just bring sandals I ran the whole loop in my bedrock cairns!

on Kanawha Trace

backpacking
2 months ago

Beautiful trail, very clearly marked and well maintained. Completed in two days. Total milage is 31.8 if you start from the trailhead at the intersection of Mud River Rd. and US-193 in Barboursville. No signs there but it is directly across the road from First Sentry Bank. There is a small gravel shoulder big enough to park two vehicles and a telephone pole with a yellow and white trail blaze. From there it is a road walk down to Wild Cat Rd. on the left. Go under the over-pass of I-64 and walk until you see Mile Marker 1 on the right, enter the woods there. The other terminus (with mile marker 31.8) is located at the antique store across from the end of Staves Branch Rd. Mile markers throughout the entire trail so GPS is not necessary. Lots of (mostly friendly) dogs along the road walks, a few snakes, occasional livestock, and plenty of ticks! I wouldn't plan on sleeping at Eagle's Nest shelter, it appeared to be a party spot for local teens (fair amount of garbage/junk lying around and very muddy). Over-all, one of the best trails in the area and easy access to both trailheads. Highly recommended.

Only did a short hike. Did first 4 miles and back from ohiopyle and worth it for a great workout. wear hiking boots, lots of rocks and exposed roots.

trail running
2 months ago

I attempted this route yesterday. Parked at Hope Furnace. Walked across street to get a free trail map and headed off. Day after a rain I expected trails to be muddy. They were muddy and the trail is overgrown but not ‘thick’. Some spots are a bit thick but most is runable. Mistakes I made were not downloading the GPX file to my watch. Not remembering my AT&T service is dead in this area of Ohio. I forgot to bring calf compression sleeves to protect shins from thorns and weeds.
Plenty of friendly backpackers out on trails.
Tried as best as I could but ended up missing a turn past point Q and started following yellow painted markings not orange. Popped out on 278 about 3 miles north of Hope Furnace. Hiked and ran back to the car.
If you don’t mind stepping over logs, dirty trail shoes, rubbing shrubbery, or getting dirty these are fun single track trails which you can combine to make longer runs. Saw one snake. Had plenty of tiny streams to wash my arms and legs off and dump water on my head.
I want to go back and do the sections I missed.

Pretty trail, fairly easy going. Well marked, I did the internal loop solo and it took about 4 1/2 hours at a steady pace with lots of stopping for photos.

Did the 5 mile loop today. Roads leading to trailhead parking are gravel and smaller width so be mindful. Is a smaller parking lot with a bathroom at the trailhead. The trail starts at the furthest end of the parking lot. It was marked decent in some areas and not for others but with the alltrails map we had 0 issues. Quite a few creek crossings along the 5 miles but the water was very low. Boots are a must if it has rained! 98% of the trail was super muddy and very deep in places. A lot of slipping and sliding. I brought my trekking poles just in case and it definitely saved me tons from falling in the mud. My trail running shoes were severely caked in mud and at times were completely encased in mud. It took us a lot longer than our normal hiking speed to complete the loop with all the mud we encountered. Overall it's a very nice trail with plenty of spots to camp. We definitely want to complete the 15 mile and do an overnight when it has dried up some. Also some areas were overgrown and a few trees were down. We bought a can of picaridin for $5 and sprayed ourselves for tick protection knowing there may be some overgrowth. Pack plenty of water to drink especially if it's hot out. Was very humid. Will definitely return.

Did loop midweek and had trail and Campsite#3 to myself. Well marked. Water at campsite is nice. Some spots are muddy after a rain but passable.

Was a really nice trail but it seemed as though one of trail markers was numbered wrong which caused me to back track for 2 miles. other than that, it was very easy going and super relaxing. would recommend for beginners or anyone looking for a relaxing weekend. keep an eye out for streams as I wasn't able to fill my water up until I made it to the camp sites.

backpacking
3 months ago

I purchased the guide for this trail at least 8 years ago, if not longer. Never got to go before a left the country for a few years. Finally, went last weekend. Really enjoyed the trail. It's much longer than the 9 miles on the old guide, but the topo map on this site seems accurate. The hiking app on my phone came up with just shy of 14 miles.

We arrived at the trailhead by the cemetery just before noon (after missing the turn on Shay Ridge Road because Waze didn't load enough maps prior to losing cell signal, so we had an unplanned visit to New Matamoras). There were already 6 or 7 cars parked there, but there was still space for at least one more after we parked.

We took the counterclockwise direction toward the cave and natural bridge. The vast majority of the trail was in good condition with few muddy spots. The trail had been improved since my guide was made with switchbacks replacing what had previously been straight up the hill ascents or descents. This added about 1 1/2 to 2 miles to the trail on either side of the campsites in the middle. It seems like we saw a couple of campsites within the first couple of miles. There were several near the midpoint. There were also several on the second half of our trip, so while we hiked about 7 miles before stopping, it appears that there are options for that distance +/- 2 miles regardless of which direction you travel.

We had decided that we didn't want to mess with pumping or purifying water, so we had driven down and around to TWP 427, which is shown on the AllTrails map, and dropped off a 2 1/2 gallon jug of water there. When we hiked back around to that point, we passed one small campsite and stayed at another that was near where we left the jug. TWP 427 was passable with a Highlander to the point where the creek and the trail cross the road. We may have been able to cross the creek, but I was just caching water and didn't need to risk getting stuck. While were we camping there, a group of two Gators came down the road after dark. We also heard at least one go up the road in the morning.

While we encountered 4 groups on Saturday, we didn't see any when we hiked out on Sunday. There are a lot of sites with past or current oil wells. While it isn't shown on the AllTrails map, there is a section of trail that we encountered on the second day, that starts at the summit above TWP 427 and follows an dirt road. It was sort of boring.

It was a good hike. Would do it again.

I hiked the 15 mile loop yesterday for the first time. Easy to follow the white blazes, except once around the oil wells it got a little confusing but easy to backtrack. It's muddy right now so definitely wouldn't recommend just gym/running shoes.
Overall a great trail and good hike. Finished in about 6 hours with some breaks for lunch/water. Saw deer, hawks, and wild turkeys. The camping spots look great and next time I'll be spending the night.
Make sure you have a car that can handle the gravel road in/out, nothing bad but worth noting.
Also there was "water cache" leftover from trail angels but don't count on water resources on the 15 mile loop.

We've done the north loop, it was beautiful but pretty tough. Heavy rain can make the creek a little scary, but it's largely avoidable. the campgrounds are nice, especially having the access to water. Go early on weekends, the parking lot seems to fill up quickly.

hiking
4 months ago

I remember doing this trail 3 years ago and yes it was great for an overnight 2 day hike we had several hiccups where we just winged it on navigation. the trail was slightly overgrown and not well marked. with the help of good guessing and land navigation we made it. did make the trip more interesting and kept you on your toes. so if your not good with land nav./ gps tracker id advise against this trail.

Great challenge. As a beginner it was very tough. But we made it to the 6.4 mile spent the night then back out for some burgers and icecream at a great little place by the viewing spot. Took everything we had to get back. Not a good beginner trail but great views none the less!

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