Caperton Trail

West Virginia

Caperton Trail Facts

States: West Virginia
Counties: Monongalia
Length: 6 miles
Trail end points: Mon River Trail North (Star City) and Mon River Trail South (Morgantown)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6017310
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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Caperton Trail Description

The central point of the Caperton Trail is located in Morgantown, known as the home of West Virginia University, the inspiration for a Joni Mitchell song and the birthplace of Don Knotts. Morgantown is also known for its extensive rail-trail system along the Monongahela River—one of a few American rivers that flows north—and its tributaries.

The Caperton Trail is located at the heart of the trail system, spanning the north-south length of Morgantown and Star City. The paved rail-trail, named after a former West Virginia governor, parallels the river past retail businesses, West Virginia University, industrial areas and the back decks of eateries that cater to trail users.

Heading north out of Morgantown, the trail passes through several downtown parks, including Hazel Ruby McQuain Riverfront Park, West Virginia University's Core Arboretum and the Edith Barill Riverfront Park in Star City. The Hazel Ruby McQuain Riverfront Park in Morgantown is adjacent to a restored railway station, and is a vibrant hub of local activity, with a steady stream of walkers, runners, skaters and cyclists. The park is also the western endpoint of the Deckers Creek Trail, which heads east 19 miles to Reedsville.

At the Caperton Trail's northern end in Star City, continue along the river via the connecting Mon River Trail North to the Pennsylvania state line; south of Morgantown, the Caperton Trail links to the Mon River Trail South to access Marion County and Fort Prickett's State Park. All three trails follow the same former CSX rail line.

Parking and Trail Access

Park at Hazel Ruby McQuain Riverfront Park in Morgantown. To reach the park from Interstate 68 west, take exit 7 and go 0.3 mile. Turn right on Count Road 857 south and go 1 mile. Turn left on US 119 (Mileground Road/North Willey Street). Go 3 miles and turn left as US 119 becomes High Street. Go 1 mile and turn right on Moreland Street. Hazel Ruby McQuain Park is in less than a quarter mile.

In Star City, parking can be found at Edith Barill Riverfront Park. To reach the park, take State Route 7 north from downtown Morgantown (Don Knotts Blvd./University Blvd./Beechhurst Ave./Monongahela Blvd.) to Star City.

Caperton Trail Reviews

Ran here in July while on vacation.Trail was well maintained,friendly people,scenery was just okay.Expected more views of river.Would not travel a great distance to run this trail.

One of my go-to trails, this trail can be accessed at several sites and will take you through all parts of Morgantown and beyond, right alongside the Mon River. Love taking a "shortcut" through the Arboretum. Once I walked along and heard behind me a rockfall, which reminded me of where we get the name Monongahela, "falling banks." Some of the trail is gravel, other parts are paved.

The Caperton Trail is a 6 mile paved rail-trail that runs along the Mon River in Morgantown. It is very wide and is great for walking, running or cycling. The trail dissect the Core Arboretum, which is a quiet nature area. If you're in downtown Morgantown, the best access to the trail would be at Hazel Ruby McQuain Riverfront Park. However, if you don't want to fight the traffic (and there's a bunch of traffic if school is in), there is a very nice trailhead in Star City at Edith Barill Riverfront Park.

To the north, the trail attaches to Mon River Trail North. This is a limestone rail-trail that runs 6 miles to the Pennsylvania border. This trail is very well maintained. If you're adventurous, you can continue on to Point Marion on the Sheepskin Trail. However, the Sheepskin Trail is currently just a narrow cinder path.

To the south, the trail attaches to Mon River Trail South. This is a limestone rail-trail that runs an additional 17 miles south to Prickett's Fort. This trail is a nice ride and there is no reason not to take it. That being said, there are two issues. First the trail is roughly 17 miles long and there are no facilities on the trail. If you have the philosophy that every tree is a potential restroom, then no problem. However, my wife does not share that philosophy, so this was not one of her favorite trails. Second, the maintenance of the trail is sporadic. All of the trail is crushed limestone, but there are sections that are just a tractor path (two narrow paths with grass in the middle) or the trail itself is very narrow because the vegetation is creeping in on the sides. Also, there are occasional spots where the trail is just hard dirt. This isn't a problem unless you hit one of these spots before it has had a chance to dry out from a recent rain. I am not describing the above to discourage anyone from riding this trail. I just want you to know what to expect.

From Prickett's Fort you can travel on the MC Trail (2.5 miles paved) into Fairmont. This trail includes a lighted tunnel.

All of these trails are flat and an easy ride. My wife and I have bicycled these trails and found it worth the effort.

If you're really energetic, the last connecting trail can be accessed from the Caperton Trail at Hazel Ruby McQuain Riverfront Park. This would be the Decker's Creek trail. This is a limestone rail-trail that adds an additional 19 miles to the system. The majority of this trail is up hill at a 2% grade going out, so it's going to be a little work to get to the end of this section. However, if you're on a bicycle, the ride coming back will be exhilarating. We haven't bicycled this trail because we just ran out of time.

Accordion

We spent five days in and about Morgantown and, luckily, discovered this trail quite by accident. We drove from our hotel and walked approximately 5 miles in the morning. Non-stressful and with enjoyable scenery.

This is my favorite small rail-trail. I park at the little park next to Waterfront Jeep (car dealer). The ride to Star City is as pleasant and diverse as could be, It covers a wide variety of surroundings covering everything including upscale urban, industrial sites, to a densely wooded arboretum.

I highly recomend the hospitality of the trailside restaurant and pub, Mountaineer Brewing Co., among other trailside eateries.

If a longer ride is preferred, it connects to the North Mon Trail which makes for a twenty mile round-trip. It also connects to the Decker's Creek trail, and the South Mon trail.

Definitely a five Star little trail. July 27th, 2015

The Caperton trail is a 6mi paved trail through downtown Morgantown that connects the North and South Mon River trails. The Decker Creek trail intersects about midway. It is flat and a mix of sun and shade. Well maintained.

North on the trail goes to Pt. Marion, PA If you start from Riverfront Park, Star City, it is about 6.5 miles, easy ride for moderate bikers, shaded, wildlife and up close look at a power plant. If you go into Pt. Marion the last mile isn't trail finished (coming someday)a bit bumpy but passable. Once you leave the trail path there is a great community park by the river (left side) and from there you can make an easy loop around town and see the confluence where the Mon and Cheat Rivers meet. There are several restaurants including Apple Annies (need to crossover 119)with a more than you should eat menu(apple dumplings).

Hello Everyone,

Today was yet another excellent day to snap some pics for you. I started south of Morgantown while still remaining in city limits. I wanted to supply photos of the Wharf District of the Caperton Trail. Being there’s so few on here so far. Until now. Haha. I’ve not been to this part of the trail in nearly 10 years. Only because there were lots of goings-on during the renovation of this area. So I stayed clear. I must say I’m quite impressed with what’s been finished thus far. I remember when the buildings were near total dilapidation. Long ago when I learned of a Rails-To-Trails project & Morgantown was planning to revitalize that area, I admit, I was a skeptic & even a scoffer. Well, the trail went in, the area got cleaned up, then buildings got a total make-over. So here it is 10 years later & everything appears to be somewhat completely finished around the Wharf District’s trail entranceway. Front & back. And again, I must repeat how CLEAN everything is. The whole area has a home-like welcome. Even the riverbank is clean where fishing is permitted. Twenty years ago everything was grown up & littered horribly. So you can imagine what I thought when I seen everything in such near immaculate spotlessness. There’s even a Subway restaurant, an Olivarios & Synergy bistros with backdoor patios right ON the trail, as for any bicycler, skater, pedestrian, fisher, boater, or what-have-you can just walk on in & make their order. I got a few nice pics of people eating lunch, they seemed very relaxed enjoying their food & company. Being one who enjoys sitting on the river for hours fishing, I had to visit the mouth of the Deckers Creek under the old train trestle, now a footbridge for the trail. I could hear the rumble of the dam, people talking on the trail as they went by, & life happening in a distance towards town. I just might be here tonight with the fishing gear. Lol. I eventually made my way out of there, heading back to the car, while still snapping pics. Got a few goodies of the dam as well. I tried to get as many points-of-view of everything to provide you with a good visual idea as to how it is here without removing too much curiosity. I submitted SEVERAL., but pictures can only tell so much. Being here is so much better.

ArtB

Today I set out to snap a few pictures. At least while we have a few days of summer left. Being the most perfect day & being hungry for really good food, I soon grew in the mood to dine outdoors at the Wings Ole restaurant, right on the Caperton Trail, at the very hub of trail action. Deckers Creek Trail begins here too. It parallels Deckers Creek & route 7 east clear into Masontown WV. The riverfront district in Morgantown is where one can feel it’s pulse. Traffic rolling over the Westover bridge coming in & out of town, buses pulling in & out of the city’s public transportation terminal, people walking, jogging, skating, riding bikes, hanging out on the park benches gazing at the Hazel Ruby McQuian Pavilion (a stage for city, county, & state musicians to perform), city workers doing their thing, & if you’re lucky, you might catch a photographer snapping pics of a model sporting a new line of clothing for a local business. Such as I did today. I walked in the restaurant, ordered my food, & sat down on the restaurant patio. Thankfully the owner was there & granted me permission to snap pics from his establishment. The view was merely perfect to say the least for this sort of setting. My food soon arrived. I sat there soaking in all the senses, tastes of the food & drink, mixed smells of the restaurant, the river, & city life, sounds of town shuffling, warmth of the dry day, & the sun just illuminating everything, revealing how the entire area is so clean. Satisfied with my fill of it all, the chief came out to clean my table as I began to snap pics. I left the restaurant wandering around the park area getting some rather nice images. Please enjoy any that might get posted ( I‘ll try to have more submitted to give a better idea as to what‘s all there). Pictures can’t compare for actually being there. Morgantown has really went all out to make this an enjoyable place for social events. So come on down & have an adventure. You’ll love my hometown.

ArtB

I'm a guy who loves to fish in near solitude away from the crowds. I've packed up the little yellow garden wagon with all my fishing gear & walked 2.5 miles south from Uffington to the Hiledbrand Dam, & 2 miles north from Little Falls to the dam. So well worth the hike. The scenery is so surreal, especially on a misty morning. You'd think there were no other people around so far outta town, but there are an array of bicyclers & joggers who wave to you with smiles as they pass by. My biggest hope is someone will buy a large parcel of land & create a camping area next to the trail where paddle boats & bikes will be up for rent to explore the river mon. Most of the land is privately owned & thus is forbidden to use the trail to access camping spots. A BIG NO-NO. However, the dams are easily accessable to fish as long as one might want. Just remember to respect the land, keep it clean, respect others, & most definately wear a helmit when riding a bike. It's just a darn good thing to do for your safety. Come on down & enjoy the trail.

The surface for the Caperton Trail, and all the trail within city limits of Morgantown & Star City, is asphalt. Outside of city limits, the rest of the 50-mile trail system is smooth, crushed limestone.

The Caperton Trail is just one segment of 4 trails, all built on linking abandoned rail lines. It links to the Mon River Trail North & South, and Deckers Creek Trail. Good, smooth, flat, surfaces. Nice community of trail users. Helmets are required in WV for bicyclists over age 14 (I think); and in Morgantown City Limits, helmets are required for bicyclists of all ages. The police have been known to give tickets.

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