Brooklyn to Southside Junction

West Virginia

Brooklyn to Southside Junction Facts

States: West Virginia
Counties: Fayette
Length: 6 miles
Trail end points: Cunard River Access (Brooklyn) and Thurmond Rd. nr. CR 25 (Southside Junction, Thurmond)
Trail surfaces: Ballast, Dirt, Gravel
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6017459
Trail activites: Fishing, Mountain Biking, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

With Unlimited:

  • Export to My Trail Guide
  • Create Guidebook
  • Download GPX
  • Download Offline Maps
  • Print Friendly Map
Upgrade Now

Register for Free with TrailLink Today!

View over 30,000 miles of trail maps
Share your trail photos
Save Your Favorite Trails
Find New Trails Near You
Leave reviews for trails
Submit new trails to our site
Register Now

Brooklyn to Southside Junction Description

As it weaves past long-abandoned mining towns such as Red Ash and Rush Run, the Brooklyn to Southside Junction Trail tells the unique story of "King Coal" and Appalachia. Once an important transportation corridor used to haul coal from the remote New River Gorge, this recycled railroad corridor now brings new life into the area as a tourist attraction. Never more than 100 yards from the New River, this trail provides users with an up-close look at the natural beauty found within and along the New River Gorge National River.

A forest of large oak trees, rhododendrons and evergreens envelopes you while you travel the meandering trail along the bank of the river. One of the most popular among the area's many trails, this is particularly attractive to mountain bikers who enjoy the rough riding provided by exposed railroad ties along its route.

Beginning at the Brooklyn trailhead, head south along the New River. Listen for the exuberant screams of whitewater rafters on the water, one of the finest whitewater rivers in the eastern United States. Active railroad tracks at Southside Junction signal the temporary end of the trail. While the trail extends past these tracks to a trailhead at Southside Junction, a legal (and safe) crossing here is currently not available. According to the National Park Service, negotiations are underway, but in the interim, please respect this private property and keep clear of the tracks.

Parking and Trail Access

To reach the Brooklyn trailhead from Beckley, take US 19 north to Fayetteville. Take State Route 16 south through Fayetteville and turn left onto Gatewood Road. Turn left at the Cunard turnoff and follow the signs to Cunard River Access. Once you reach the access area, continue 1 mile up the gravel road to the Brooklyn trailhead, where parking is available.

The Southside Junction end is not recommended as a start for the trail because the active rail line perpendicular to the trail often blocks access to the trailhead, making crossing hazardous.

Brooklyn to Southside Junction Reviews

We rode this trail a while back because of the beautiful description in the guide. We got lost trying to find the trailhead but eventually made our way to the parking area. We had high hopes as we started and the first couple of miles are beautiful as you follow close to the river. Then, the trail started to get more and more ragged and ok, we can go across a couple of downed trees, and deal with ruts and mud and water, but after about the 5th downed tree, we decided enough is enough and turned back after about 5 miles. This could be a beautiful and fun trail, if they took better care of it. It needs work and widening and removal of the leftover railroad ties which make for not so pleasant riding. Not worth the trip and hassle to find. Don't trust the guide description on this trail unless you just want to try out a trail that is a bear to complete. We were glad to get out.

Rode this trail July 2014. Little rougher than a lot of rail trails I've ridden but what a great ride!! The river is in view the whole way and is really beautiful. The old rail and ties showing up periodically was fun to see and ride. We had to dismount and drag our bikes through some downed trees once or twice but that's part of the charm of a trail like this! Take your time and lots of water and enjoy this ride!!

I hiked this trail in the summer of 2012, and had the luxury of the river access road at Cunard being blocked by a landslide,so I saw only one person on this trail for my overnight trip. By looking at the other posts, I suppose I'm glad that I'm a "homer" and chose this trail due to it's relative simplicity and closeness to home. I simply entered the trail from the Thurmond side. There is a public fishing access area that I utilized to park my vehicle just across the bridge from the Thurmond train station. I intended on fishing the New River along the way, but the weather for the previous two days rose and muddied the river. Therefore, it only took about 3 hours for the hike to the camping area about a mile before the Cunard access road. The trail, as you might have read in earlier reviews, is fairly easy, with some places being pretty narrow, and others being wide enough to drive a truck. I did have to go under the fallen tree mentioned in another post, and also around another at the beginning of the trail which had fallen within a day or two of my arrival. The camping area consisted of about 5 spots, all with fire rings and lantern posts. I only found a few pieces of (relatively) dry firewood, so you may want to take a small stove to heat any food. There are no toilets, other than the "portajohn" at the fishing access area where I parked. All in all, this was a great "get away for a day" trip for me, and was also the first time I had attempted a hike in some years. I am planning on doing this hike again early this spring, as the area is particularly beautiful in the spring and fall.

Accordion

The trail was gorgeous and the view of the New River was awesome, but about 2-3 miles beyond the trail head, there is heavy deciduous debris and mud/pot holes that you have to watch for. I turned around about 3 miles out due to a large tree blocking the trail.

to get to the trail, you will think you are lost. keep following signs for cunard river access. do not stop at the brooklyn mine trail or kaymore trail, it is very steep and probably not even good for an experienced mountain biker! I made that mistake and large rocks jut out of the ground, I have the chain imprint on my calf to prove it :). as a frame of reference, i am not a mountain biker, so give it a go if you feel so inclined.

keep driving along the paved road to the bottom of the hill, all the way to the river. be careful, the pavement is cracked substantially as it switches back and forth.

i recommend parking at the public restroom facility, then begin your ride there toward the gravel road. this will help you pick up another mile (one way, 2 miles out and back).

i am not sure the drive is worth the riding distance. from fayetteville you are looking at a solid 20 minutes if not more. I was told by Marathon Bike shop there in town to go to Thurmond, which will be my next excursion down that way. Also, there are a couple of bike shops in town and nice restaurants if you do decide to ride down there. i recommend the cathedral cafe, a wonderful coffee shop, after your ride.

-Joe

I detailed our experience on this trail - it was absolutely wonderful!! You can see it here:

http://fitnessandtheaveragejanie.blogspot.com/2010/08/finding-rails-to-trails-beauty-in-west.html

Nearby Trails

Kaymoor Trail

West Virginia - 8.6 miles

The Kaymoor Trail runs parallel to the New River between Fayetteville and Cunard in the National Park Service’s New River Gorge National River. Much of ...

Keeneys Creek Trail

West Virginia - 6.6 miles

Located in the gorgeous New River Gorge in rural West Virginia, the Keeneys Creek Trail is a gravel trail that doubles as a road for park service vehicles. ...

Rend Trail (Thurmond-Minden Trail)

West Virginia - 3.2 miles

Note: Portions of the Rend Trail are closed due to a bridge repair. The trail is closed 1.27 miles in from the Minden trailhead or 1.96 miles in from the ...

Accordion

Narrow Gauge Trail (WV)

West Virginia - 3 miles

The Narrow Gauge Trail in Babcock State Park follows the gentle grade of what was the Manns Creek Railway, which connected Clifftop to Sewell, until it ...

White Oak Rail Trail (WV)

West Virginia - 7.9 miles

The White Oak Rail Trail runs for nearly 8 miles through the central West Virginia city of Oak Hill, connecting the communities of Summerlee and Carlisle ...

Hawks Nest Rail Trail

West Virginia - 1.8 miles

The Hawks Nest Rail Trail is located primarily within Hawks Nest State Park near Ansted. The trail is nearly 2 miles long and runs on the south side of ...

Glade Creek Trail

West Virginia - 6 miles

Situated in the heart of West Virginia's pristine New River Gorge National River, the Glade Creek Trail (out-and-back only) has something for everyone. ...

Lewis McManus Memorial Honor Trail

West Virginia - 4.1 miles

The Lewis McManus Memorial Honor Trail, also known as the Beckley Rail Trail, travels from Mabscott, through the heart of Beckley, north to the Beckley ...

Cranberry Tri-Rivers Rail Trail

West Virginia - 16 miles

The Cranberry Tri-Rivers Rail-Trail, also called the Cranberry Rail-Trail, is named for the Cranberry, Cherry and Gauley rivers it travels along or across. ...

Lewisburg and Ronceverte Trail (L&R Trail)

West Virginia - 0.4 miles

The Lewisburg and Ronceverte Trail (commonly known as the L&R Trail) will one day connect these two historic towns set amid the Allegheny Mountains of ...

Greenbrier River Trail

West Virginia - 77 miles

West Virginia's beautiful Greenbrier River Trail is one of America's premier rail-trails and popular with bicyclists, hikers, walkers and cross-country ...

Elk River Trail

West Virginia - 1.5 miles

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 ...

Explore by City

Explore by City

Explore by Activity

Explore by Activity

Log in to your account to:

  • View trail paths on the map
  • Save trails to your account
  • Add trails, edit descriptions
  • Share photos
  • Add reviews
OR

Register for free!

Join TrailLink (a non-profit) to view more than 30,000 miles of trail maps and more!
OR