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The West Virginia Northern Rail Trail is a 10-mile trail project occupying the former West Virginia Northern railroad bed between Kingwood and Tunnelton in Preston County. The short-line railroad moved coal for nearly a century and was replaced briefly by a tourist railroad before ultimately being abandoned.
The first two miles of trail opened in Kingwood in the Fall of 2020. This section begins on Tunnelton Street at the Kingwood Civic Center. The trail follows the rail corridor through residential neighborhoods on the west side of Kingwood to the trailhead near Sisler Street, which will be developed into a county park. The path then heads into the woods another mile-and-a-half to the turnaround point. Split-log benches complement to the woodsy character of the trail and provide vantage points to view the vibrant fall foliage. No doubt visitors to the Northern Rail Trail will be left eagerly anticipating the day they can walk, run or ride the full ten miles.
Parking is available at the Kingwood Civic Center (311 Tunnelton St., Kingwood). There is also parking at the Sisler Street Trailhead in Kingwood, the future site of the trailhead park.
Checked out the Kingwood trailhead last weekend and was pleasantly surprised to find a paved parking area with a nice pavilion and some kid's activity items. Trail is packed with a fine gravel that is decent. We first walked the spur into town near the Municipal Building and then walked the main spur to near the old town of Snider. This section was fine although it is in a somewhat residential area to start. Afterwards we drove to Snider and saw that the trail was finished to there. At the next road crossing to the south it was still unfinished. This is a good start but there's still a long ways to go.
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