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Explore the best rated trails in Fairmont, WV. Whether you're looking for an easy walking trail or a bike trail like the Indian Creek Valley Bike Trail and Sheepskin Rail-Trail. With more than 37 trails covering 4235 miles you're bound to find a perfect trail for you. Click on any trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
I have been walking and biking sections of the North Bend Rail Trail since at least 2013- over 10+ years as of this review (May 2023). I am very impressed at all of the improvements. Today I walked from the historic Salem Depot around mile marker 65 to the Tunnel around mile marker 68. Salem had paved their trail within city limits. It is smooth and wonderful! Past Salem, heading towards Wolf Summit, the current Eastern end of the trail, it is gravel. Bring a light for the tunnel!
I have ridden my fair share of rail trails and the GAP is the best rail trail I've ever experienced. I started in Cumberland and finished in Pittsburgh. I knew what I was getting myself into riding against the Eastern Continental Divide but I got the harder riding done right away. I spent three days on the trail staying overnight in Confluence, Smithton and ending in Pittsburgh taking Amtrak back to my car in Cumberland.
The GAP offers so much variety over its 149 miles from scenic river views, sweeping mountains, ruins of a mining past to human development from a rural to urban scale. Most of the trail is very tightly packed gravel which is in immaculate shape. For the first few miles out of Cumberland and the last twenty or so miles to Pittsburgh the trail is asphalt.
I went on my ride in mid-May right before peak riding season so while many businesses in the trail towns were open many still had limited hours. Riding during peak season will give you even more options to eat, stay and shop. Every town I visited were very bike friendly (I've never seen so many places to lock your bike), with plenty of signage to share the road and locals very happy to see tourism in their communities. Some of the smaller towns like Smithton and Boston are not heavily highlighted but still offer dining and places to stay overnight.
There are many bike fix-it stations located on the GAP. While I expected to see some in the trail towns I was surprised by the abundance of fix-it stations located outside of towns as well. There are bathrooms (a mix of businesses, port a pots and composting toilets) roughly every ten miles. Most trail towns had a store to buy refreshments and I did notice a few restaurants had no issue with filling up a water bottle for any who asked.
My least favorite part of the trail was the last twenty miles from Boston to Pittsburgh. The asphalt in this section is in pretty good shape but in comparison to over 100 miles of smooth gravel it is rough. McKeesport is a sudden shift to an urban environment with a fair amount of on road riding but it is well marked and I had no issues navigating and I felt safe. I had issues navigating in Pittsburgh as I felt the clear marking that helped me navigate McKeesport was non-existent. Also to note is the on-road detour to Point State Park. It is easy to follow if you have a map but it requires riding in a major city for a short distance.
I have ridden many trails, a few that are in the Rail Trail Hall of Fame. The GAP is by far the best and is truly the ride of a lifetime.
This trail is a gem! This trail will be a very important connecting piece between the North Bend Rail Trail that runs from Parkersburg to Clarksburg, WV and the Mon River Trail System in the Morgantown area. Someday, all of these wonderful trails will be connect as part of the planned Parkersburg to Pittsburgh Trail (P2P).
What a gem! The greater Morgantown area is so lucky to have this amazing trail system! It will be so nice when this trail is connected to the North Bend Rail Trail! This trail will be a major part of the 238 mile long Parkersburg to Pittsburgh Trail. I can’t wait until the trails from Clarksburg, Shinnston, Fairmont, and Morgantown are all connected!
What a gem! North Central West Virginia is lucky to have this trail system. I can’t wait until the 238 miles Parkersburg to Pittsburgh Trail is complete! It will be fantastic when all of the trails from the North Bend Trail to the trails in Clarksburg, Shinnston, Fairmont, and Morgantown are linked!
A new and still underdevelopment rail trail opened May 2022. The trail is a mix of grass and crushed stone. The trail goes through two train tunnels. The trailhead parking lot is in Claysville, PA and passes behind a General Dollar store where you can pickup items to eat at some benches and picnic tables along the trail. Trailhead needs a restroom.
Five star trail! It connects to the Mon River Rail Train network from Fairmont, WV to Morgantown, WV and beyond.
This trail is a great, short trail! If you want a longer ride, you can continue on the Mon River Trail Network, which starts at Pricketts Fort State Park and continues to Morgantown, WV and beyond.
I parked at the west end riding a touring/gravel bike with panniers on 700x38s. This is really a trail best suited for horses, mountain bikes, and fat bikes. It starts out with nice farms and is very quiet, tree-lined with multiple stream crossings. very pretty and well maintained. The state park (first place for water east-bound) was a nice place to stay with showers, camp store, nice campsites. There is a beautiful shelter that overlooks a river/stream on the trail, at the east end of the tunnel that's immediately east of the SP. Somewhere east of there, and definitely at the Dodges /Ritchie county line, the trail has been a bit neglected. There is chunky rock with deep loose gravel piles, occasional double track, and at each road crossing gate it's a real challenge to pass through with panniers. Expect to walk the underpass for Dodges county park. It's super slippery with moss, mud, and grass, then the trail stops... with no further direction. I saw a HWY sign and headed down the road to a no-vehicles gravel road that looks like the trail. Yep, good choice. But then the sign sends you pushing up a steep, muddy, rocky 4wheel drive road. The arrows on the sign need to be adjusted, or place the sign better. Go left at the sign toward the river and it'll bring you into the campground, also across more loose gravel, deep asphalt piles, and mud. The campground is nothing fancy, but there is a shower.
Trail was in great condition and it is a beautiful ride.
Bright Morning Bed and Breakfast was a definite highlight of my GAP ride last summer. It’s right on the trail and had a great purpose built bike shelter building. Oh yeah, the breakfast the next morning was fabulous!
Surprised to see this amazing trail that has great bed and breakfasts along it is not noted as part of the Great American Rail Trail. It sure would help demonstrate more GART completion if it was.
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