• sun setting over the gorge

    New River Gorge

    National River West Virginia

Thurmond, Stone Cliff, and Cunard Area Trails

New River from Rend Trail
 

There are several easy to moderate hiking trails, many utilizing old roads and railroad grades, in the Thurmond area. The Rend, Southside, and Stone Cliff Trails are also open for biking.

 
trail map

Thurmond Area Trail Map: Download a map of the trails in the Thurmond-Stone Cliff-Cunard area.

 
view of the New River from the Rend Trail

A view of the New River from an overlook on the Rend Trail

Rend Trail (formerly Thurmond-Minden Trail)

The Rend Trail provides an easy stroll or bike ride along an abandoned branch line of the C&O Railway (Rend Line). This predominantly level trail crosses five railroad trestles and a short set of stairs that detour around an old rock slide. Several overlooks provide scenic views of Thurmond and the New River. This trail runs parallel with Dunloup Creek on the Thurmond end of the trail, where a few foundations of the town of South Boyd can be seen. Arbuckle Creek runs parallel with the trail at the Minden end.

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To reach the Thurmond Trailhead:
From U.S. Route 19 north of Beckley, take the Glen-Jean-Thurmond exit. Take an immediate left and go 0.5 miles to Glen Jean. Turn right and follow the signs for Thurmond (WV Route 25). The trailhead is on the left, 5.1 miles down WV Route 25.

To reach the Minden Trailhead:
Take the Main Street exit (Oak Hill) off U.S. Route 19. If coming south on Route 19, turn left and go 0.2 miles; if coming north on Route 19, turn right and go 0.1 miles. Turn left onto Minden Road and follow this for 2.1 miles. Take a right across a small bridge to the trailhead.

 

Brooklyn Mine Trail

This 2.7 mile equestrian Trail follows and old road through the forest to the Brooklyn coal mine site. Scenic views can be found along the trail.

To reach the trailhead from Route 19, follow Route 16 south through the town of Fayetteville. Take a left on Gateway Road (sign indicates Kaymoor and Cunard). Follow Gatewood Road for 4.6 miles and turn left at the sign for Cunard. Go 1.8 miles and turn left at both of the signs indicating Cunard River Access Road. The parking area is just past the trailhead, located 0.5 miles further on the right.

 

Southside Trail

This easy seven mile riverside trail provides great views of the New River and passes through several abandoned New River Gorge mining towns. Rush Run, Red Ash, and Brooklyn were all once bustling communities located along this abandoned railroad line. The first mile from Cunard River Access is open to motorized vehicles.

To reach the trailhead from Route 19, follow Route 16 south through the town of Fayetteville. Take a left on Gateway Road (sign indicates Kaymoor and Cunard). Follow Gatewood Road for 4.6 miles and turn left at the sign for Cunard. Go 1.8 miles and turn left at both of the signs indicating Cunard River Access Road. Follow this road to the river access point, where parking is available. The first mile from the Cunard River Access is open to motorized vehicles. A parking area at Brooklyn marks the end of the maintained road.

 

Arbuckle Connector Trail

This steep and rocky trail connects the Rend and Southside Trails. Located 1.2 miles from the Thurmond end of the Rend Trail, just past the third trestle, this 0.3 mile connector trail drops off to the right. This trail also provides glimpses of the stonework and coke ovens of the former mining town of Wee Win.

 

Church Loop Trail

This 0.1 mile trail loops past the First Baptist Church of Thurmond. The trail loops off the Rend Trail about 0.7 miles up the trail.

 
a scenic view of the New River from the Stone Cliff Trail

A view of the New River from the Stone Cliff Trail

Stone Cliff Trail

This moderate 2.7 mile trail follows an old road along the banks of the New River. Great views and easy access to the river are available along this trail.

From U.S. Route 19 north of Beckley, take the Glen-Jean-Thurmond exit. Take an immediate left and go 0.5 miles to Glen Jean. Turn right and follow the signs for Thurmond (WV Route 25). Continue for 6 miles to a three-way intersection. Bear right and go 1.5 miles on this road. Take a right on the gravel road, just before the bridge crossing the New River. Continue past the boat launch to the parking area. The trail begins beside the picnic area.

Did You Know?

BASE Jumper at New River Gorge

One day each year, hundreds of BASE (Building, Antenna, Span, and Earth) jumpers come to New River Gorge to parachute from the New River Gorge Bridge.