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  • What is permitted on the trail?
    The overarching principle for permitted and unpermitted use is straightforward: the Elk River Rail Trail is for non-motorized use only. Thus, cycling, walking, hiking, horseback riding, Nordic (cross country) skiing, and snowshoeing are all permitted. These uses allow for year-round adventure. Anything with a gasoline motor is not permitted. Motorized vehicles, with the exception of approved wheelchairs and emergency vehicles, are prohibited on the trail. This includes all-terrain vehicles such as four wheelers and side-by-sides. To reiterate, any vehicle with a gasoline motor is prohibited. Class I E-bikes are permitted.
  • What is the Elk River Trail?
    The Elk River Trail is primarily a “rail- bank” hard-packed gravel trail 73 miles in length running through central West Virginia, plus an intersecting 18-mile rails-with-trail. The trails are virtually flat, with a one-half percent (0.5% grade). Motor vehicles are prohibited on the trail except for maintenance and emergencies, making it ideal for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and even wheelchair use. The main trail runs along the Elk River on the original Coal & Coke Railroad (later the B& O Railroad) while the rails-with-trails section runs along Buffalo Creek on the old Buffalo Creek & Gauley Railroad track. Made possible by the efforts of its prior owner, The Elk River Railroad, Inc. the trails are now owned or leased by the WV Division of Natural Resources (DNR) and the WV Division of Multimodal Transportation and operated by the State Parks section of DNR. The trail is popular among local residents and tourists alike.
  • What is the current status of the trail?
    The northern terminus of the trail is in the trail town of Gassaway. The trail is currently completed down river along Elk River 47 miles to a point below the Hartland Trailhead in Clay County. The section from Hartland to Queen Shoals is under construction, but another 4.5 mile section is completed from Queen Shoals into the Town of Clendenin, with a mile of that being paved with asphalt. The short section from the Clendenin Trailhead to Brown Street is also under construction.
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