East Fork Trail (WV)

West Virginia

East Fork Trail (WV) Facts

States: West Virginia
Counties: Pocahontas
Length: 8 miles
Trail end points: Forest Road 254 and Forest Road 36 in Monongahela National Forest
Trail surfaces: Dirt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6017283
Trail activites: Mountain Biking, Walking

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East Fork Trail (WV) Description

The scenic East Fork Trail follows the East Fork of the Greenbrier River through hemlock stands and pine plantations and past many small waterfalls, extending 8 miles from the Island Campground in Bartow to Pig's Ear Road (Forest Service Road 254). The trail can be difficult going on a mountain bike and is recommended for hiking only.

During the winter thaw and spring rains, this trail gets wet and muddy, with stream crossings at mile 2.5 and near mile 6. You can avoid the first crossing by staying on the east side of the stream and looking for the trail blazes again within 300 yards. The final section of the trail leaves the banks of the Greenbrier River and follows a steep uphill climb to Pig's Ear Road.

The East Fork Trail is a treat at any time of year, but if you hit the trail during berry season, be sure to look around for tasty, wild serviceberries, also called mountain blueberries, which can be found along the entire corridor.

Anglers, rafters and others have overnight options along the trail. In addition to the small campground at the trail’s start, there are more campsites near mile 5, where the trail crosses Forest Service Road 51.

Parking and Trail Access

From Durbin, take US 250 east. After you pass Bartow, the highway merges with State Route 28. Stay on SR 28, and about 6 miles from Bartow you will see signs for Island Campground, where the trail begins in the middle of the campgrounds, just off the road.

If the campsites are full and there is nowhere to park, continue going northeast on SR 28 another 5 miles to Forest Service Road 112. Follow this for about 2 miles until it forks with Forest Service Road 254. Take 254 to the end, where there is a gate marking the beginning of private property. The trail begins to the left of this gate; parking is available on the side of the road.

East Fork Trail (WV) Reviews

I hiked this trail with my pup today (October 2). The trees are beginning to turn and the river is lively. A really pretty walk, all in all. I did have to cross the stream 3 times, and honestly could not find my way around this, although the trail notes say to stick to the east side of the stream. The bank was just too steep.

I was glad a I had on long pants, as the nettles are still green and stingy on parts of the trail.

We just did a 3-day bike tour loop incorporating this trail (along with great fire roads and the awesome West Fork Rail Trail), but this East Fork Trail was a disaster--took us 7 hours (including breaks) to push our loaded mountain bikes the 8-mile length of this narrow, challenging HIKING trail--if you were an accomplished single-track mountain biker carrying NO camping gear, you could ride much--maybe most--of the trail but not all of it. BEWARE! Rails-to-Trails categorizes this as a "rail trail" and lists "mountain bike" as a use and together these are highly misleading. Add to this the trail description that talks about it being "a treat at any time of year" and mentions "a gradual uphill climb" at the northern end and you can understand why I and my two companions were pretty upset--no mention by RTC of the many steep narrow uphill sections (the trail constantly goes up and down the mountainside) and much unrideable boggy stuff... I have to wonder if they hiked the ENTIRE trail? Curiously, the signage at the north end identifies the trail as a hiking trail only; the signage at the southern terminus has a bicycle symbol (i.e. mountain bike) as well as a hiking symbol while also identifying it as "more difficult"--one has to wonder why at one end of this 8-mile trail it is strictly considered a hiking trail and at the other a hiking/mountain bike trail... A further complication here is that Google Maps, since appropriating RTC's data for its new bicycle-directions function, shows this trail as part of a bike route if you ask for bicycling directions through this area. So I'll be writing to them too--again, beware! All that said, this would be a lovely hike--very pretty, and enough up-and-down to give you a workout.

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