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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 Thurmond trailhead. According to the trail's official website, this portion of the trail may be closed for several years.
With breathtaking scenery, numerous bridges and several impressive overlooks, it is no wonder that the wide, well-maintained Rend Trail (formerly known as the Thurmond-Minden Trail) is one of the most popular trails in the New River Gorge National River area. The trail traces the Arbuckle Branch railroad corridor along the banks of three rushing waterways from the old mining community of Minden to the old railroad town of Thurmond. Though the Arbuckle Branch, built in 1906, was abandoned long ago, you can still see evidence of coal mining along this route.
The trail begins along scenic Arbuckle Creek and follows the raging water of this tributary to its confluence with the New River. Near the banks of the New River, be sure to stop at the overlook for an incredible view and an active railroad line. After a brief journey along the New River, the trail heads south along the quiet banks of Dunloup Creek. The trail ends at a parking lot near a popular fishing hole.
While the Rend Trail provides an excellent path for bicycling and hiking, bikers beware: a set of stairs built around the remains of a rockslide can hinder your journey if you are unable to carry your bike up and down the wooden steps.
To access the Thurmond trailhead, head north from Beckley on US 19. Take the Glen Jean-Thurmond Exit and turn left onto State Route 25. Go 0.5 mile to Glen Jean, following the signs for the Rend Trail or Thurmond-Minden Trail, located 5 miles outside of Glen Jean off SR 25.
To reach the Minden trailhead from Beckley, head north on US 19. Take the Oak Hill/Main Street Exit and turn right onto East Main Street at the end of the ramp. Turn left at Minden Road and follow it for 2 miles. Take a right across a small bridge to the Minden trailhead.
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