Rend Trail

 A view through the trees overlooking the town of Thurmond from across the river.
The Rend Trail crosses several old railroad tressles and offers good views down to the river.

NPS/Dave Bieri

Quick Facts

Parking - Auto, Toilet - Vault/Composting, Trailhead

(Formerly the Thurmond-Minden Trail)
Labeled (3) on the Cunard, Thurmond and Stone Cliff Area Trails map


3.4 miles/5.47 km (One-way)



Trail type

Hiking and biking

Trail Description

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.


The second bridge from the Minden side (1.27 miles from the Minden trailhead, or 1.96 miles from the Thurmond trailhead) and the first bridge from the Thurmond side are closed due to structural damage. The affected bridges will remained closed for the foreseable future. Bikers can travel less than a mile 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. After the post office, just opposite the Thurbon Road intersection, take a right across a small bridge to the trailhead.

New River Gorge National Park & Preserve

Last updated: August 14, 2023