• sun setting over the gorge

    New River Gorge

    National River West Virginia

Rend Trail (Thurmond-Minden Trail)

buildings at Thurmond
The town of Thurmond from a viewpoint along the Rend Trail
 
Two bicyclists riding on gravel/dirt trail

Two bicyclists enjoying a ride on the Rend Trail.

An easy grade and wide, smooth trail make the Rend Trail one of the most popular trails in the park. It is great for hikers of all ages and levels of fitness, and a great start for beginning mountain bikers. Hiking the entire trail involves a 6.4 mile round-trip journey, though many will choose a shorter 2.5 mile round-trip to the main overlook and back. Along the way, there are good views of Dunloup Creek, the New River, and the historic community of Thurmond.

 
Wood decked railroad trestle along the trail

One of the five decked trestles located on this trail.

This trail was originally constructed in 1906, as a railroad line to haul coal from the mines in Minden to the main line tracks in Thurmond. The rail line was abandoned in 1972, and now it is hikers and bikers that follow this historic route. There are five railroad trestles that are crossed along this trail.
 
View of the New River from an overlook along the trail

View of the New River from the main overlook.

From the Main Overlook, visitors are presented with a great view of the New River. Trains can be seen travelling the gorge, still carrying coal, though the coal is no longer mined within the gorge. In the summer months it is common to see fleets of whitewater rafts floating by on the river.
 

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.

Did You Know?

Peregrine Falcon

Between 1987 and 1991, over thirty peregrine falcons were released within New River Gorge. Think you saw one? If so, please contact the park wildlife biologist at (304) 465-6542. More...