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Hawks Nest Rail Trail is a 7.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Ansted, West Virginia that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 7.1 mi Elevation gain 1,774 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Forest

Rails trails

River

Views

Waterfall

Blowdown

Rocky

Waypoints (0)
Getting There

Pull into the parking lot in front of the Walgreens. Turn right onto the one-way road and then make a left and go under the bridge. You’ll pass an old metal building on the right. Just a little further and you’ll see the sign for the trailhead next to the gravel parking lot. The sign is on the right.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (121)
Photos (140)
Recordings (87)
Completed (203)
Daniel Kimmerly
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HikingRocky

We LOVED this trail!!! Follow the others directions to the trail head, we would not have found without. A. Let me set the record straight, this is a 1.9 mile Easy hike. B. At 1.35 mile don’t miss the hard right or you will miss the old mine, then double back to the main trail. C. At the end of the 1.9 mile trail you will come to a tram station and gift shop (odd surprise). D. If you are in shape ask at the gift shop for map to GSYP trail (or see my photo of map) which is a very strenuous .8mile uphill hike to Hawk Lodge....there is a beautiful view from lovers leap up there. AND a restaurant (with Alcohol)

Samantha Showalter
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Jun 16 2020
Hiking

Tree across the trail at the bottom by the incline and couldn’t finish the hike but a great trail

View Samantha's Recording
Jes Criner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jun 07 2020
Hiking

Trail is beautiful and definitely worth the hike! Very shady throughout. Lovely stream and waterfalls. The first two miles are very flat; would consider this mild. —— TRAILHEAD: Okay, like everyone said, the trailhead is hard to find... but you can definitely get closer than Walgreens. Pull into the parking lot in front of the Walgreens. Turn right onto the one-way road and then make a left and go under the bridge. You’ll pass an old metal building on the right. Just a little further and you’ll see the sign for the trailhead next to the gravel parking lot. The sign is on the right. SECOND HALF: Once you get to the bottom where the tram is it’s anyone’s guess. I used my map, and I am convinced something has to be wrong with it. There’s no trail that I know of that connects the tram area to to the lovers leap overlook. I could be wrong. ALTERNATIVE ROUTE: Instead, we crossed the bridge and started up the switch back road and and then got on the GSYP trail and took it to the top where the lodge is; this part is more moderate/strenuous. From there you could get to the cliff side trail to complete the out-and-back, but we were running out of daylight so we went back the way we came. In hindsight, we probably could’ve just walked sixty to get back to the car.

Michelle A.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jun 05 2020
Hiking

Trailhead is a little hard to find. If you are at Walgreens, cross the street and walk down the stairs near bridge. Miles 0-1.9 are easily walkable and all well maintained until the tram station. This is where is gets tricky. If you go through the wooden gate and continue up the trail, you have gone off Hawks Nest trail. From the point, it gets rocky and wet, but deer trail is easily followed out about 3 more miles. We found wildlife along the trail, garter snake, turtle, and little salamanders, but honesty there is nothing else to see if you want a good 9-10 miles hike, go for it. Otherwise ask where Hawks Nest continues to.

Allison Krieg
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun May 24 2020
Hiking

It took us awhile to find the trailhead. Where the map “starts” is listed incorrectly- unless I just don’t know what I’m talking about. The trailhead starts behind the Walgreens on the one way road. The trail is really easy terrain and beautiful. Definitely worth it. Though when we got 1.9 miles in and it looks like the trail ends? We couldn’t find where to continue the rest of it at the main river and bridge. I’d be curious to see where we were supposed to continue. Overall- great trail though. Very scenic.

View Allison's Recording
Stephen Mayfield
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat May 23 2020
Mountain biking

pretty awesome downhill. theres some cool things to see on the way down. a couple trees were in the trail and couldnt go over them. but i rode from ansted to the dam below hawks best. pretty badass

Kyle E
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon May 18 2020

Recommend taking the tram at Hawks Nest and walking up the trail. You'll find Mill Creek Falls here.

Rick Miller
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun May 17 2020

Very nice trail with beautiful views of 3 waterfalls plus many small ones. Tree lined all the way next to Creek.

DeWayne Chapman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Apr 19 2020
Hiking

Great hike on a nice rail trail. Creek running alongside the entire way made it very enjoyable. And the waterfalls were beautiful.

View DeWayne's Recording
Paula Cadman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Apr 19 2020
Hiking

SCENIC. If you want a variety of scenic landscapes, this is it! The trail starts near an open dirt parking lot . Follow the path, passing the bridge are some picnic tables near the waterfalls (swimming anyone?) Keep going and you have the end of one trail (there is a tram station/snack shop) Go up the small hill and you find yourself on your destiny! **Do not bring children on this part** The trail is verrrryyy narrow and some huge trees fell onto the path which makes it harder to go around. There is one bigger waterfall which you have to pass and will probably get your shoes and leg WET. The end of the trail is no big grand finale, there is small creek but thats about it. There are also no tables where you can rest, and its a little rocky. Overall, very scenic :)

Wesley Myers
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Apr 12 2020
Hiking

Loved this trail. Great shape the whole way through with sights all along the way, including water falls, old bridges, etc. Fairly easy- definitely not rugged.

Laura Hutchison
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Mar 28 2020
Hiking

Great trail with lots of to see!

Brittany Collins
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Feb 23 2020
HikingRocky
View Brittany's Recording
Jessica Reeves
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Feb 09 2020
Hiking

nice shady gravel trail

View Jessica's Recording
ASHLEY Meyer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jan 13 2020

this trail is not at Hawk nest State Park, it is a couple miles away. Loved it. flat and easy trail, fun waterfalls to look at. perfect for my girls and dogs.

Deidra Morris
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jan 12 2020
Hiking

Easy trail with something for everyone: multiple waterfalls, ruins and in warmer weather there are boat and tram rides at the bottom. The stream looks even prettier coming back out. The trail to the old mine is on the right between the water tower and fox branch falls, hard to see going in.

View Deidra's Recording
Sarah Coleman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Dec 20 2019
Hiking

I’ve hiked this trail many times. It’s not 7.1 miles. It’s 1.9 miles one way, with a total of 3.8 round trip and certainly isn’t a rugged trail.

Amy Hartig
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Oct 14 2019
Hiking

Pretty rugged trail. Definitely wouldn't take kids on this hike. Dangerous spots. Nice rock formations.

Shannon Stowers
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarTue Jul 09 2019
Hiking

Hiked July 4th, great canopy cover. Easy in/out. Several small water falls for picture taking. Many places to access slow flowing, shallow river. Areas to stop and grab a snack while listening to the water flow over the rocks. Can ride tram up to Hawks Nest State Park for a price but would have to ride back down if you parked at trail head, no loop.

B Stowers
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarThu Jul 04 2019
Hiking

Hiked this July 4th weekend. Very easy with a slight downhill grade going in so slight incline coming out, less that 10% grade. A lot of places to access the water and cool down. Can access 2 other trails at the end but none of them are loops so you have to retrace your route, just like this one. Shade during entire trek.

Brad Mills
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jun 27 2019
Hiking

Great summer hike. Numerous water falls, huge rock walls, beautiful bridges, and awesome ruins. Facilities available at both ends. 70 % shaded. Easy walking. Wide trail. Reward, Bridge Brew Works just down the road at Oak Hill. What a great day!

Deena Foster
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jun 19 2019
Hiking

Nicely done with lots of waterfalls.

Jean-Claude Linossi
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarWed Jun 12 2019

Good place to get some good views of the New River and the State Park.

Kyle E
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue May 28 2019

Easy hike. Beautiful waterfalls. Loved it.

Tonya Taylor
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Apr 21 2019

Love this trail from Ansted to the river. Waterfalls the whole 1.9 miles to the tramway. Beautiful flat trail.

Sarah Johnson-Pauley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Apr 08 2019

very enjoyable and lots if waterfalls

Robin Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Mar 12 2019
Hiking

Easy walk to the tramway with lots of waterfalls all along the way. Many of the smaller falls drain across the trail, so wear boots. A number of building foundations and artifacts left from when the railroad ran thru. Easy slight downhill all the way to the tram bottom with an easy climb back out. I went at the tail end of winter, but must be incredible in all seasons.

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Kayla Logsdon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Mar 02 2019

waterfalls for miles :) an enjoyable hike even on a foggy rainy day.

Jonathan Schuler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Mar 01 2019
Hiking

So the marked trail on the map isn’t exactly accurate. It appears to be a combination on Hawk’s Nest, a gondola ride and the cliffside trail. The actual Hawk’s Nest trail is pretty easy. You have a great view of Mill creek, with rapids and water falls, for the length of the trail. We did a loop, coming down from the lodge using GSYP Canyon trail, taking Hawk’s Nest trail, following the creek upstream, then using Hawk’s Nest road to get back to GSYP Canyon trail back to the lodge. GSYP is fairly strenuous, be warned. If you are looking for a more moderate hike, definitely incorporate it, if not, stick to Hawk’s Nest trail and road for a nice hike!

View Jonathan's Recording
WV Hiking Adventures
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Dec 02 2018
Hiking

Beautiful view of the creek entire hike. Absolutely stunning. Very family and dog friendly. My dog Jack had a blast. Please leash your dog as many pups hike out here.

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