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Ride the Rails!

NEWS RELEASE CLAY, WV Photos provided by Ashley Brauer for Rail Explorers and Cyndi Tawney for Elk River Living

June 24, 2024

Rail Explorers – the nation’s leading railbike operator – opened its newest location in the heart of West Virginia on June 8, 2024. Departing from the junction of the Elk River and Buffalo Creek in Clay, the tour offers a unique 12-mile round trip journey along the historic Buffalo Creek & Gauley Railroad, following the twists and turns of the crystal-clear water through the breathtaking forest, past the stunning Devil’s Sawmill Waterfall and over Sand Fork Bridge.

“This unforgettable outdoor adventure combines the tranquility of nature with the thrill of rail biking and magic of the railroad,” said Mary Joy Lu, Rail Explorers CEO. “We are incredibly excited to bring Rail Explorers to Clay, WV. The beauty of this area is unmatched – we are so proud to re-activate this historic railroad that has been a lifeline in the community for over 100 years. This two-hour, eco-friendly activity is fully accessible to people of all ages and abilities, making this a perfect activity for families, friends, and solo explorers.”

Rail Explorers founded the railbike industry in America. Its custom-built railbikes are pedal-powered, have hydraulic disc brakes, and feature a custom-built electric motor – the REX Propulsion System. The technology leads the world in safety, design, and ease-of-operation. The combination creates a truly effortless ride for guests of all ages and abilities – including those who are visually or hearing impaired, or differently abled. Rail Explorers’ commitment to inclusion prompted the custom electric-pedal assistance system to overcome the difficulty of pedaling uphill, as well as an all-steel-frame construction that is strong enough to have no rider weight restrictions.

“I could not be more excited to welcome Rail Explorers to our great state,” said Gov. Jim Justice. “We’ve seen an incredible boost to the area since opening the Elk River Trail, and it’s just fantastic to see that success expand even further with the addition of Rail Explorers to our state’s growing tourism economy. Railbikes have been extremely popular in other areas of the country, and it's great to see them right here in Clay County.”

The Clay location is expected to employ 15 – 20 people, including seasonal guides. In drawing visitors from across the U.S., Rail Explorers also provides a boost to community restaurants and businesses. The West Virginia Department of Tourism reports the tourism impact in Clay County was $5.6 million in 2022.

"I'm thrilled to welcome Rail Explorers to the Mountain State," said West Virginia Tourism Secretary Chelsea Ruby. "This is such a unique attraction and I'm looking forward to folks coming to try it for themselves. You may even have the opportunity to check off one of the newest waterfalls on the West Virginia Waterfall Trail while riding a rail bike too!"

Devil’s Sawmill Waterfall, on Buffalo Creek, is one of three falls added to the West Virginia Waterfall Trail last week. The waterfall is located about five miles into the railbike tour.

“The Departments of Transportation and Tourism have joined forces to make this anticipation a reality. Our motto at Transportation is ‘ONE DOT.’ With each collaborative project, we are working together for the betterment of our state,” said Sec. Jimmy Wriston, P.E., West Virginia Department of Transportation. “Thanks to our dynamic Governor and his unwavering commitment to expanding the tourism industry within our state, new venues and attractions like Rail Explorers are making their way to WV.”

This latest addition marks Rail Explorers’ seventh division, bringing its custom-built railbikes to another beautiful part of the United States, including Boone, Iowa; The Catskills and Cooperstown, NY; Rhode Island; Amador County, Calif.; and Versailles, KY. The company began operations in 2015 and has hosted more than 650,000 riders.

“We’re excited to see Rail Explorers join our community,” said Mayor Jason Hubbard, Clay. “This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase Clay County’s stunning landscapes and provide a new attraction for both residents and visitors. We welcome our new neighbors and community partners.”

Tours are open Thursdays through Mondays at 874 Buffalo Creek Road, Clay, WV 25043. Riders can choose a Quad Railbike (up to four riders) for $160 or Tandem Railbike (up to two riders) for $80. Clay County residents are eligible for discounted rides on ‘Locals’ Days.’

Tours are open to the public and pet friendly. Pets ride for free, but are limited to 40 lbs. or less, one pet per bike. Previous pets have included dogs, cats, lizards, parrots, even ducks.

Limited seats are available and reservations are recommended. Visit or call 877-833-8588 to learn more and reserve tickets. On the website, select tours and then choose Elk River, WV for the Buffalo Creek Cruise.

About Rail Explorers USA The inspiration for Rail Explorers came from a scene in a Korean soap opera. In 2012, company co-founder Mary Joy Lu was watching one of her favorite K-dramas and became intrigued when she saw a strange contraption being pedaled along the railroad tracks. Mary Joy was so excited by this extraordinary looking railbike that within 10 days she was on a plane to South Korea to meet with the designer and manufacturer of the vehicles. Mary Joy, husband and co-founder Alex Catchpoole, and other Rail Explorers employees traveled back to Korea in 2015 to learn more about the unique business. Rail Explorers brought a fleet of explorers to the U.S. and began operations in the Adirondacks in 2015. This was the first time these railbikes had been outside of South Korea.

Rail Explorers is committed to social and environmentally responsible operations and management. The railbikes produce zero emissions and tours have little to no impact on the environment and eco-systems through which they travel. Visit for more information.

Media Contact: Ashley Brauer, for Rail Explorers 270-308-1089

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