The Longest Biking Trail in West Virginia

Written by Emilio Brown
Published: October 20, 2022
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West Virginia is a great state for outdoor activities due to its mountains, forests, wetlands, and open plain habitats. Over 300 trails and 35 state parks are located in the state, allowing for endless opportunities for biking, or hiking. Here you will learn about the longest biking trail in West Virginia, often considered one of the best trails in America.

Fun for all ages, biking allows people to get out into nature to see its beautiful sights. West Virginia like other states is one of the many places in America with an abundance of beautiful nature to see.

The Longest Biking Trail in West Virginia 

mountain bike on sunny day in forest
The longest biking trail in West Virginia is the Greenbrier River Trail.

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The Greenbrier River Trail is the longest biking trail in West Virginia and is around 78 miles long. This bike path follows the Greenbrier River and is located near the eastern border of West Virginia. Riding this bike trail takes you past several small towns and dense forests. The Greenbrier River Trail also goes over 35 bridges and goes into two tunnels.

The Greenbrier River Trail starts from the town of Caldwell and goes until the Cass Scenic Railroad State Park. The trail is located in the Greenbrier, and Pocahontas counties in West Virginia.

The Greenbrier River Trail is open year-round and free to use. Biking, hiking, and horseback riding are what the path is used for. Camping, fishing, and swimming areas are also near the trail. There are several access points along the trail which may include parking, water, campsites, picnic areas, and bathrooms for its visitors. Using a map is always the best to plan for your trip, and allows you to know where the amenities are.

History of the Greenbrier River Trail

Originally the Greenbrier River Trail was used by the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway, which was founded in the late 1800s. The railway transported commodities like timber, livestock, and rocks. While the business of the railway fluctuated, during the 1970s the railway would be retired. The track was removed in the summer of 1979, and the land was sold to the state of West Virginia. Now the bike path is where the retired tracks were once laid.

This bike path is considered one of the most beautiful in the United States, due to its surrounding mountain landscape, and the amazing views it offers. In 2012, the Greenbrier River Trail was elected into the National Rail-Trail Hall of Fame and was also featured as one of 50 trials designated as a Millennium Legacy Trail in 1999.

Navigating the Greenbrier River Trail

The Greenbrier trail has a crushed stone surfacing. This trail has a fairly gentle grade of around 5% or less in most of it, and there is an elevation change of around 2,956 ft across it. While very long, this trail is fairly easy to ride, but planning for it is essential if you are looking to ride its entirety.

Completing this trail is best done in multiple days at a leisurely pace, giving a chance to see all the beautiful nature and sights.

Segments of the Greenbrier River Trail:

  • Cadwell to Anthony-11 miles
  • Antohowny to Renick-10.7 miles
  • Renick to Beard-13.7 miles
  • Beard to Seebert-7.3 miles
  • Seebert to Marlinton-10.3 miles
  • Marlinton to Clover Lick-15.1 miles
  • Clover Lick to Cass-9.5 miles

Altogether the trail goes for around 77.6 miles, making it the longest rail trail in West Virginia. Campsites are located throughout the trail for resting. The Greenbrier River Trail passes by historical and natural attractions like the Cass Scenic Railroad State Park, Greenbrier State Forest, Seneca State Forrest, and more. 

Wildlife on the West Virginia’s Longest Biking Trail

Male Sambar deer
You can find deer on the Greenbrier River Trail.

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West Virginia’s longest bike trail follows the Greenbrier River, which is a very important freshwater source for the plants, and wildlife nearby. The river is home to animals like carp, catfish, trout, frogs, and salamanders.

Wildlife that lives near the Greenbrier River Trail include deer, rabbits, skunks, black bears, raccoons, and much more. Bird watching is a popular activity done on the bike path as there are a variety of bird species. Open year-round, the spring to fall months are the best time to visit the Greenbrier River Trail. In autumn the trail trees begin to showcase bright red and orange coloring.

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About the Author

Spiders, snakes, and lizards are my favorite types of animals, and I enjoy keeping some species as pets. I love learning about the various wonders nature has to offer and have been a writer for 5 years. In my spare time, you can find me getting out into nature.

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Sources
  1. The Greenbrier River Trail , Available here: https://www.greenbrierrivertrail.com/
  2. Trail Link Greenbrier River Trail, Available here: https://www.traillink.com/trail/greenbrier-river-trail/
  3. Greenbrier River Trail , Available here: https://wvrailtrails.org/rail-trail/greenbrier-river-trail/
  4. Rail to Trails, Available here: https://www.railstotrails.org/trailblog/2012/june/01/greenbrier-river-trail-west-virginia/