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Explore the best rated trails in Saint Albans, WV. Whether you're looking for an easy walking trail or a bike trail like the Elk River Trail (Coonskin Park) and Elk River Trail (WV). With more than 9 trails covering 103 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.
We rode on September 22 and we're warned by another cyclist that there was a dog near Duck who is chasing cyclists spooking horses and even bit a walker.
My wife and I unloaded our bikes in the parking lot beside River Street/Perry Street in Gassaway, WV. We crossed the street and rode a wide and well packed Elk River Rail Trail for about 3.5 miles before we turned back because we were limited on time. It's a cool ride even on a hot day with a band of shading trees between the trail and the Elk River. I do plan to ride the trail to Duck, WV in the near future.
I have also walked a couple of miles south and back from the Duck trail access point and it seemed as nice as the Gassaway trail head.
This rail trail has signs that limit access to walking, bicycles, Class 1 E-Bikes, and Horses.
Easy flat and filled with views. For beginning bikers or casual warmup…
The ride was on a narrow rough sidewalk, busy street on one side and steep hill down to river on other side.
I rode from the trailhead at Farm Rd to the end and back. Great shade, friendly people, not busy/crowded at all. Bird nerd paradise! So many species and songs! Trail was perfumed with the sweet smell of honeysuckle throughout. Very easy ride but recommend walking up the steep slope at the park because you have to come to a dead stop at the apex or you're in the street.
I rode the southern part of the Rend Trail today, up to the second trestle, which unfortunately remains closed due to being "critically structurally deficient". I am not an engineer, but it appeared that the steel substructure under the second section of the deck (from the south end) has slipped from its intended position. Unfortunately, it's probably very expensive to fix something like that in such a remote area.
As for the rest of the trail? It's quite scenic. Beautiful forest and mountain views. Sheer drops off to the east that are steep enough I'd need a topo map to tell you how far they drop, and equally steep mountain on the west side. Coal baron Rend built the trail in 1901-1904 for $350,000, and it's no wonder it cost so much, it's a small wonder the trail exists at all. Many rail lines have small areas that are challenging, more so in West Virginia, but on this one pretty much the whole route would be challenging to build.
Thus, TrailLink is correct that this is, technically, a rail-trail. But the farther you get from the southern trailhead, the less it feels like one. It gets narrower, eventually becoming a singletrack through a short meadow before opening up a bit before the closed trestle. It's also about 240 feet of elevation gain from the base to the closed trestle, which is officially 1.27 miles. The plus side is that you could likely coast most of the way back, but it's definitely rougher than the nice, crushed-limestone covered rail trail you may be expecting if you've ridden the Greenbrier River Trail.
There's also a Church "Loop" trail that you can hike from the Rend Trail, which takes you to the Thurmond Baptist Church, which from the exterior appears to be in fairly good condition for being in the middle of the woods. I put the "Loop" in quotes since I couldn't figure out how to make a loop out of it. It is definitely not bike-accessible, and still has some trees down across the trail from the hurricane last fall.
In summary, this trail is best combined with exploring Thurmond, and perhaps some of the other short, nearby trails. Expect some work but also some nice scenery, and you'll likely ride away happy.
We did a 39.1 mile ride on the Elk River Rail trail last Friday and it was decent. TrailLink states that the trail starts at Duck in the north but it is actually surfaced from Frametown to the north. We first checked the trail at Gassaway which the Elk River Trail Foundation Facebook page said it was open to. The surface from Gassaway to Frametown is pretty rough gravel so we skipped that part. We rode from Frametown to Ivydale and back. The trail is surfaced with fine packed limestone gravel and overall is decent. There are drainage issues that have created some small ruts at places but nothing terrible. All the bridges are nicely decked. The Elk River flows alongside the trail and is a pleasant, pretty river. As far as trailside amenities the only thing in this section are two new restrooms. There are no benches, pavilions or such. There is a small store at Duck that was open but we did not stop. At Ivydale we met a state park ranger who said the trail from Harland to Duck was now part of the state park system and they were working on upgrades and indicated benches would be part of that. He also said the trail would eventually extend through Gassaway up to somewhere around Burnsville. The ride was decent but I would not go out of my way to ride this trail - at least not yet. If you're in the area and want to ride, go for it. There's nothing else nearby. Hopefully, improvements will continue and this trail will only get better.
I started on Mollies Run rd side and initially couldn’t see the trail because there’s no parking. It’s residential area but there was a church (also really no parking) but i went ahead and parked at the church. First mile was a bit eerie because it was early I guess and no one else was on it. After a mile , i got to a busier side by the police and fire dept. I ran it 3 miles in and 3 miles back before some elevation. I enjoyed the run overall.
I’ve walked every section of this trail, morning and evening. Early mornings are great, both for light on the Kanawha River, and for having it to yourself. I look forward to the day when this trail connects to the Elk River Rail Trail, and other long distance trails.
We rode this Trail takes you down by the river passed a lot of historic places governor's Mansion capital beautiful scenery it's a great ride.
It takes you through the downtown area of Charleston West Virginia also very historical signs along the way plus a great view of the river we had a great time just did this on Sunday October 11th 2021
We just stopped for a quick ride from Duck to Groves Creek to check out the trail on our way to Elkins. We loved what we experienced on this end of the trail! I can only imagine how gorgeous it will be in 3-4 weeks when the leaves change! We will be back to do a much longer ride! It’s a new trail so not much signage or amenities but I am sure that is planned in the future. Oh and lots of parking places at Duck and it’s a quick trip off of I-79!
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