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Kanawha Trace is a 30.5 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Ona, West Virginia that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 30.5 miles Elevation Gain: 4,347 feet Route Type: Point to Point

dog friendly

backpacking

camping

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

bike touring

running

forest

views

wildlife

historic site

fee

The Kanawha Trace is a multi-purpose trail for hiking, backpacking and mt biking. The trail was started in the late 1950's by BSA Troop 42. Mostly single track through wooded areas, some paved/gravel road sections, the Kanawha Trace is rated as difficult with over 4000 feet of elevation gain. Three camping areas along the way with two spots for water. The trail traverses over three counties: eastern Cabell, Mason and Putnam. There is a $0.50 registration fee.

hiking
bugs
over grown
4 hours ago

Had a nice 5 mile hike out Kanawha Trace on July 04. I parked just of US RT 35 near Staves Branch and entered the trail at the boyscout tunnel. The trail was very overgrown and there were ticks everywhere. We were constantly picking ticks off each other even with using tons of bug spray. The trail is easy to follow, tree markings visible everywhere. There’s plenty of wildlife and berries all along the portion of the trail I hiked. I will definitely hike this again and run the race in August!

mountain biking
1 month ago

Great hiking and biking. Camping is good at the shelter closest to Camp Arrowhead in Ona

hiking
1 month ago

The trailhead on Barkers ridge headed towards camp Arrowhead is hard to find. It is right behind the old white store building beside the sewer field referred to. There is a fence that is unlocked. when you go through it you see a brown boy scout sign referring to different routes, but it is facing the opposite direction! The trail runs through a cow pasture and into the woods.

mountain biking
2 months ago

Trekked from barker ridge to camp arrowhead- cant seem to find the trail head at Barker- so basically just follow gravel path through the sewer covered field. Tons of tree’s down in the valley passed hammer holler- path is somewhat clear. Once getting to big clearing at jerico road TURN LEFT- trail isnt marked worth crap coming up to the clearing- go towards the house- then once you enter the woods again the left turn onto the single track path is poorly visible- land owners were sure to cut a tree out of there way- didnt bother making another single cut to help us out... pathetic.... once you get to that cave close to the mill road the trail sort of disappears so i just went to the bottom where that cross is. Trail is pretty nice til you drop into the boyscout area- TONS OF tree’s down EVERYWHERE- huge storm came threw and THRASHED The area. Fun trail- everytime you use it make it better! Preserve our precious gem.

hiking
muddy
rocky
2 months ago

Hiked section from Big Cabell Creek to Milepost 6. Good parking at the Big Cabell Creek trailhead. About 3.4 miles out and back. Steep part quite challenging just past the 7 mile marker. Nice between the rocks section. Up on the ridge line, it is more moderate up and down along the ridge to the Old Baldy Trail sign. Muddy in a few places, but generally dry. Did a few trail repairs along the way with some drainage, tree removals and placing some flat rocks in muddy zones as stepping stones.

mountain biking
private property
rocky
8 months ago

Awesome for mountain biking.

hiking
bugs
Fri Jul 05 2019

First of all, as others have said, there is no parking at the trailhead as directed to. We ended up parking at the Boy Scouts camp and joining with the trail there. However, after pushing through maybe a mile we could not stand the constant spiders. Literally every 2 feet, across the trail. It looked beautiful but unfortunately we bailed!

hiking
over grown
Sun May 26 2019

LOVED this trail. Very steep to begin with, but levels out and is beautiful. Bring tick spray and check yourself! Some overgrown parts, but that may be because it’s the beginning of summer and the trail hasn’t been used as often.

hiking
Fri May 24 2019

Great trail. I walked in to marker 9 and came back in a day hike. First, the directions to the trailhead that the app gives are great. However, there is only a brown trail sign with a yellow and white marker denoting where the trail starts. Additionally, there is no parking. The trail itself is super well marked and is an amazing workout. There are some flat stretches, but a lot of up and down. There are also a few water opportunities. I rarely hike in shorts, but pants are a must for several stretches. I look forward to one day going start to finish.

Mon Apr 08 2019

difficult trail but worth it, lots of rock formations and caves, creeks to play in lol and nice shelters to stay at and the wildlife was amazing. saw an albino deer, hundreds of squirrels and dozens of deer then of course ur in farm land some so mini ponies, horses, cows, chickens and ducks to name a few lol

hiking
Sat Mar 23 2019

Great trail for hiking. There are a few different spots to hop on the trail too for quick scenic day hikes.

Thu Dec 20 2018

Loved the hike beautiful scenery and very nice camping area. I would definitely go back every chance I get to.

Thu Nov 22 2018

great trail

running
Mon Sep 03 2018

The Ona entrance is not easy to find. From First Sentry Bank, go east on Mud River Road for about a 1/4 mile. Hang a left on Wildcat Rd., which goes under I-64. The trail head is on the right about a mile out Wildcat Rd. Don't enter the woods at Trail Mile Marker 1. Go about a 1/2 mile more on the road and the trail goes up the hillside at a well defined stairway. Tough sledding, but enjoyable. Will definitely get a workout!

running
Sat Aug 04 2018

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

Sun Jun 10 2018

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

backpacking
Sun Jun 03 2018

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.

backpacking
Mon Nov 13 2017

Nice trail with lots of ups and downs. and you can see alot more when the leaves are off. well marked for the most part, but the mile markers didn't match up with my app. and it quit tracking after 17.5 miles but counted the time. so pay attention to the trail markers in case this happens to you. and remember better to go unprepared than to not go at all.

Sat Oct 21 2017

Great trail. Hidden gem in this area. Traverses my property. Great for stand alone backpacking trips or as a prep for long distance treks ie: AT, Philmont, National Park Trips etc.

hiking
Fri Oct 06 2017

Great trail for hiking, backpacking and mt biking! Lots of elevation changes so don't leave your trekking poles at home. Make sure you have lots of water and bug spray.

running
18 hours ago

recorded Kanawha Trace

hiking
2 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

recorded Kanawha Trace

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

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