Do I start my ride from Bear Wallow? From Rockhouse? Or what about Reverend Trailhead?
So many trails, and so little time: That’s West Virginia’s Hatfield-McCoy trail system. There are mountain ridges with stunning views of the Appalachians and countless scenic valleys. You may find the entrance to an old coal mine along the trail, or even smoke pouring from a subterranean coal fire. What you’ll definitely find is miles and miles of four-wheeled fun.
For those of you not familiar with the Hatfield-McCoy recreation area, it’s located in southwestern West Virginia, about 60 miles from the state capital, Charleston.
From any one of the three trail heads, hundreds of miles of trails of all types lie ahead. There are single-track trails to fire roads, with varying degrees of difficulty that will entertain novices and challenge experts. The area, which opened last year, is still being developed and additional trails are under construction. In that respect, Hatfield- McCoy is unique: Riding opportunities are expanding there at a time many other areas are closing trails.
This multi-use area welcomes ATVs, motorcycles and bicycles to share the trails. All trails are located on corporate-owned property, and trail users are required to stay on marked routes. The area is open all year, with riding allowed from sunrise to sunset. Helmets and protective eye wear are required, and ATVs and motorcycles must have properly functioning mufflers and US Forest Service approved spark arrestors.
Hatfield-McCoy also enforces a “no passenger” policy for ATVs, and all operators must meet manufacturers’ minimum age requirements. Adult supervision is required for those under age 16, and no alcohol may be consumed or carried on the trails.
User permits are required for each rider, and you can purchase a three-day permit for $25.00 or an annual permit at $50.00 for out-of-state riders and $25.00 for West Virginia residents. Locals get a break because taxpayer money has helped fund the development of the trail system.
Permits can be obtained at many local businesses or at the Hatfield-McCoy recreation office.
Each trail head has a ranger station and bathrooms with running water. The two-acre parking lots have plenty of room even for big rigs.
Camping and fires are not allowed on the trails or railheads, but campgrounds are conveniently located throughout the area. In fact, you’ll have so many options on lodging, restaurants, fuel and motorcycle shops, there is not room here to list them all.
To obtain more information, all you need to do is call or write Hatfield-McCoy Recreation Area, P.O. Box 539, Ritch Creek Road, Lyburn, W.V., 25632, (800) 529-2217. Or go to www.TrailsHeaven.com for permits, current trail conditions and much more information.