Allegheny Highlands Trail | West Virginia Rails To Trails

Rail-Trails

Allegheny Highlands Trail

The Allegheny Highlands Trail (AHT) follows the original route of the West Virginia Central and Pittsburg Railway, built by Henry Gassaway Davis in 1884.  The AHT includes 26 contiguous miles from the Railroad Depot in Elkins to Hendricks, and an additional 5 miles in Tucker County near Davis.  For 26 miles this exceptionally scenic trail provides panoramic views of the West Virginia countryside, as it passes through a mountainous region with small towns and rural farmland.

From the southern Highland Park trailhead in Elkins, the trail gradually ascends for about 15 miles, passing around Pheasant and Polecat Knob mountains. The rural views and mountainous backgrounds provide numerous opportunities for photos. Beyond the mountains, the trail starts to descend more steeply and approaches the small town of Parsons.

The trail crosses the Shavers Fork River on the restored Western Maryland Railroad bridge in Parsons and continues through Mill Race Park. A ramp from the park ascends to the bike lane on the Black Fork River bridge. The next trailhead is located just over the Black Fork River on the eastern side of US 219. The remaining section is paved and follows the beautiful Black Fork River to the community of Hendricks.

The railroad grade, not presently developed as part of the AHT, continues north of Hendricks in the beautifully scenic Blackwater Canyon to Thomas. Be warned: it’s steep.

Trail Manager Contact

United States Forest Service, WV Division of Highways and City of Parsons

Highlands Trail Foundation
P.O. Box 196
Parsons, WV 26287
www.highlandstrailwv.org
highlandstrailwv@gmail.com

 

Notes

Trail friends, please be aware that conditions on the Allegheny Highlands Trail from Gilman to Kerens are unsuitable for biking and other recreational use at this time. Work to install broadband cable has damaged the trail surface significantly. We are supportive of this project and the benefits it will bring to the surrounding trail communities, but sad to see the impact of the work in progress. It is our understanding that repairs will be made when the project is complete. We do not know when that is expected, but will post information as it is available. Meanwhile, please avoid this section of the trail or proceed with extreme caution. A ride-around is available on the Leading Creek Road.

Trail Stats

Trail Status Open
conditions on the Allegheny Highlands Trail from Gilman to Kerens, approximately 3.5 miles are unsuitable for biking and other recreational use at this time due to broadband work
Trail End Points Elkins Depot Welcome Center, downtown Elkins to 3rd St. and Main St./SR 72 / Hendricks
Counties Randolph, Tucker
Trail Length 31 miles
Activities Walking, Biking, Mountain Biking, Horseback Riding, Cross Country Skiing, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible
Trail Surface Asphalt, Crushed Stone
Trail Link Profile TrailLink.com Profile
Parking and Trail Access

The southern most trailhead and start of the Allegheny Highlands Trail is at the Elkins Depot Welcome Center in downtown Elkins at 315 Railroad Avenue- 304-635-7803.

Highland Park Trailhead- From downtown Elkins, take US 219 north to access the Highland Park Trailhead, located across from the Division of Highways District 8 Headquarters (just a mile from downtown Elkins).

The Gilman, Kerens, Montrose and Porterwood trailheads are located mid-trail, and each include parking facilities. Continue following US 219 north to the northern trailhead, located at the intersection of Main and 3rd Streets in Hendricks.