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.
Rend Trail (formerly Thurmond-Minden 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.
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.
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.
Trail closure: The second bridge from the Minden side (1.27 miles from the Minden trailhead, or 1.96 miles from the Thurmond trailhead) is closed due to structural damage. The affected bridge will remained closed for the foreseable future. Bikers can travel 1.96 miles in from the Thurmond side or 1.27 miles in from the Minden side.
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 hiking and equestrian Trail follows an old road through the forest to the Brooklyn coal mine site. Scenic views of the river through the trees 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.
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.
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.