Allegheny Highlands Trail | West Virginia Rails To 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. For 24.2 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 Elkins Rail Trail Connector will extend the Allegheny Highlands Trail south to the Elkins depot in 2017. 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 2862
Elkins, WV 26241



Highlands Trail Foundation-

Trail Stats

Trail Status Open
Trail End Points Highland Park to 3rd St. and Main St./SR 72 / Hendricks
Counties Randolph, Tucker
Trail Length 24.2 miles
Activities Walking, Biking, Mountain Biking, Horseback Riding, Cross Country Skiing, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible
Trail Surface Asphalt, Crushed Stone
Trail Link Profile Profile
Parking and Trail Access

From downtown Elkins, take US 219 north to access the southernmost trailhead, Highland Park, 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.