Allegheny Highlands Trail

Trail Map

Description Suggest an Edit

The Allegheny Highlands Trail (AHT) follows the original route of the West Virginia Central and Pittsburgh Railway, built by Henry Gassaway Davis in 1884. For 24.5 miles this exceptionally scenic trail provides panoramic views of the West Virginia countryside, as it passes through a mountainous region with small towns and rural farmland.

From the southern Highland Park trailhead in Elkins, the trail gradually ascends for about 15 miles, passing around Pheasant and Polecat Knob mountains. The rural views and mountainous backgrounds provide numerous opportunities for photos. Beyond the mountains, the trail starts to descend more steeply and approaches the small town of Parsons.

A short, easy-to-follow on-road section of the trail in Parsons offers the chance to grab a bite to eat at any of the several restaurants. The trail crosses the Shavers Fork River on the restored Western Maryland Railroad bridge and continues through Mill Race Park. A ramp from the park ascends to the bike lane on the Black Fork River bridge. The next trailhead is located just over the Black Fork River on the southern side of US 219. The remaining section is paved and follows the beautiful Black Fork River to the community of Hendricks.

There are plans to extend the Allegheny Highlands Trail south into downtown Elkins and north to Mt. Storm Lake, making it about 44 miles. The railroad grade, though not developed as part of the AHT, continues along the beautifully scenic Blackwater River to Thomas as the Blackwater Canyon Trail. Be warned: it's steep.

Parking and Trail Access

From downtown Elkins, take US 219 north to access the southernmost trailhead, Highland Park, located across from the Division of Highways District 8 Headquarters (just a mile from downtown Elkins).

The Gilman, Kerens, Montrose and Porterwood trailheads are located mid-trail, and each include parking facilities. Continue following US 219 north to the northern trailhead, located at the intersection of Main and 3rd Streets in Hendricks.


Great ride

   June, 2016 by duane.remein

My wife & I, both in our mid 60's and neither of us avid mountain bikers, just completed the Blackwater Canyon section of the Allegheny Highlands trail. About 10-12 miles of "almost heaven" from Thomas to Parsons WV. It was a beautiful cool clear early more

Nice ride, well kept

   September, 2015 by jbcarroll

Rode entire trail from Hendricks to Elkins. The section from Hendricks through the first few miles out of Parsons are paved. This section has a lot to see and appears to be well used. Once leaving the Cheat valley after Parsons the scenery is rural, nothing more

Allegheny Highlands - Hendrick to Elkins and back

   July, 2015 by gtbeamer

Drove out to Hendrick, WV to pick up the trail at the trailhead there, intending to ride into Elkins and back. The trail starts out excellently from Hendrick, then it's the long slog over the mountain. After you crest the top, there are several sections more