Elk River Trail

Trail Map

Description Suggest an Edit

Kanawha County’s Elk River Trail provides access to Coonskin Park, a large park originally built by local residents in the 1950s and now managed by the Kanawha County Parks and Recreation Commission. The trail runs alongside the Elk River for its entire length, although views are largely obscured by dense tree cover.

On the trail’s eastern side, Charleston’s Yeager Airport is hidden from view by a substantial elevation change typical of the scenic region’s topography. Case in point: there is a steep grade where the trail leaves a former rail corridor. While the majority of the Elk River Trail is not a rail-trail, a short section runs parallel to an out-of-service rail line, making it a very short rail-with-trail.

At the trail’s northern end, Coonskin Park offers a playground, golf course, amphitheater, soccer stadium, swimming pool, tennis and volleyball courts, hiking trails and picnic shelters, all nestled within more than a thousand acres of woodlands.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking for the Elk River Trail is available in Coonskin Park at the Riverside Pavilion. A sign along Coonskin Drive will direct you to turn left to access the trail and parking just south of J.W. Herscher Lake.


Elk River Trail Widened

   September, 2015 by jabauman

The Elk River Trail was recently widened to the width of a road due to a landslide at Charleston's Yeager Airport that landed on Keystone Drive. The change provides an emergency exit for residents of Barlow Drive in the case of flooding, or other emergencies. Some ...read more

trail update

   August, 2011 by dan117

I have to disagree with some of the information posted about this trail. I have ridden this trail regularly over the past few years. I will agree that only a small portion of it was originally a rail bed then it splits away. However, the terrain is not ...read more

Inaccurate information.

   February, 2007 by

"This trail is far too steep for wheelchair access, unless the person had a very strong attendant; parts of it are too steep for all but the strongest cyclist. At one point runoff from the airport created so much mud I had to pick up my bike and walk ...read more