Laurel Fork Trail

MODERATE 1 reviews

Laurel Fork Trail is a 24.2 mile out and back trail located near Whitmer, West Virginia that features a river. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking and trail running.

DISTANCE
24.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2900 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

hiking

trail running

forest

river

Laurel Fork River Trail is 17 miles, many of which follow old railroad grades and logging roads. Fords indicate streams that may be a problem to cross during high water events. There may be additional small stream crossings.

backpacking
2 months ago

Two of us thought we would take a relatively easy all downstream shuttle over night trip. The measured distance of our trip was 9 miles. When we were done we both swore that it was 14 miles. The trail is not maintained except by use and disappeared into meadows of four to five foot tall grass(?). We probably spent 2/3 of the hike looking for the trail. The first day took us 5 hrs to go five miles. The second day took 7 hrs to go the final four. Campsites are virtually non-existent. However, this is a National Wilderness Area and thus you can't expect well maintained and clearly blazed trails. Indeed, other than a few rock cairns, the trail is not blazed at all.
This hike is NOT for a beginner nor weak at heart. I was seventy two and my friend was thirty three. Both of us are experienced backpackers and yet found the hike quite challenging. I'm planning to do the trip again, knowing what to expect and maybe a better way to navigate.