Rend Trail (Thurmond-Minden Trail)

West Virginia

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Rend Trail (Thurmond-Minden Trail) Facts

States: West Virginia
Counties: Fayette
Length: 3.2 miles
Trail end points: CR 25/Thurmond Rd. (Thurmond) and Minden Ave. (Minden)
Trail surfaces: Dirt, Gravel
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6031963
Trail activities: Bike, Fishing, Mountain Biking, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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Rend Trail (Thurmond-Minden Trail) Description

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.

Parking and Trail Access

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.

Rend Trail (Thurmond-Minden Trail) Reviews

10/26/2015: Sign at the Minden trailhead advised "Trail Closed 1.27 Miles". We rode on down and found the second trestle barricaded (couldn't see the issue). Otherwise seemed like a great trail!

Along with two friends I rode this trail in July 2014. Frankly I usually don't waste my time on a 3.5 mile trail. But my friend assured me it was an awesome ride. IT WAS!!!!! Fun little climb on the way out. Nice fast downhill on the way back. And the views of the New River from way up high are breath taking!! The stairs around the rock slide will require a little effort but very well worth it. I gave this trail 5 stars. Has to be the best 3.5 miles in the state!!



"It's a nice ride, a little bit of a small windey road there, but the trail is nice, a constant uphill grade from the Thurmond side, 1 set of stairs that you have to carry the bikes over (big rock), and some small trickling waterways making a little bit of mud on your way. You hardly have to peddle the whole trip home though...very nice. Beautiful views as well."

"The trail is nice...rarely rough (a few rocks, some remnants of the old train line, and 1 set of stairs you have to carry your bike around), a nice smooth grade as would be expected from an old rail line, so not too steep and (the best part) from the directions given, you park at the bottom of the hill. So the ride home is a breeze! Nice trail."

"On October 7, 2003, I took a gentle, quiet walk in the woods overlooking the New River with fall colors springing forth from the trees. It was very relaxing and comforting."

"This trail is a sentimental one for me, since it is the one my dad used as a kid to get from his home in Rock Lick (Minden) to his grandparents' house in Thurmond. Of course, back then it wasn't a hiking trail, but that didn't stop anyone. Although Thurmond is now a ""ghost town"", my great-grandparents' house is still up on that hill, with all of my great-grandpa's sheds (he farmed and raised livestock up there) and all of the religious sayings he painted on the steps. Down in town, there is a post office, a depot which has been nicely restored, and a great place to admire the New River. The hike itself is rewarding as every few minutes you catch glimpses of Glen Jean and Thurmond through the trees. Lizards and millipedes abound, and the creek keeps you company for about a third of the walk.

It is an easy walk, but when you factor in the round-trip distance, it's a nice workout. Besides, if you hike for the beauty and serenity of the surroundings, the difficulty doesn't matter too much anyway. Be warned, though, if you go from Minden to Thurmond or vice versa, there is a connector trail that you need to take which is very steep and pretty ankle-endangering. It isn't well marked, but if you have a map or just a good eye, you shouldn't have a problem. Although I grew up in Michigan and now live in Georgia, this trail is one of my favorite places in the world. "

"Trail is in pretty good shape, in spite of the flood damage from a few months back. Very scenic. Bridges can be very slick, so watch your footing. I generally start at the Minden trailhead and take the trail (3.2 miles) to where it intersects with Southside-Brooklyn trail head, and then take Southside-Brooklyn trail 6 miles to Cunard, and then I head back. The first part of Southside-Brooklyn trial runs beside old ties and rails. Really cool. You can cross over the river on an old bridge to visit the NPS Thurmond depot at Southside-Brooklyn trailhead as well. Mountain bikes are recommended, hybrids would work if tires are not too slick."

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