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Clay County boasts nearly 30 miles of trail snaking along the Elk River. The crushed stone trail stretches between Duck, starting at the trailhead which doubles as a river access point for kayaks and other water vessels. From Duck, it winds its way down through acres of woodlands along a former railroad bed. The approximately ten miles between Duck and Ivydale represents the first phase of the trail, which opened in summer of 2020. This segment was quickly followed by an extension through the county seat, Clay, to the Hartland Bridge, bringing the present total to 26 miles. The ultimate plan is to construct 54 miles of rail-trail along the river, stretching to Clendenin in neighboring Kanawha County, and work is already underway on the remaining sections of trail.
The Elk River Trail is open for use by walkers, hikers, runners, cyclists and horseback riders. E-bikes are also allowed, but only Class 1. There are exercise stations sited along the trail for an extra work out for trail users. While the trail runs alongside the Elk River for its entire length, views are largely obscured by dense tree cover.
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