The Greenbrier River Trail is a 78-mile rail trail. Once a railroad track used for logging and bringing industry to the mountains of Pocahontas County, the wide, packed gravel trail now serves as a great spot for a bike ride, run, or hike. It runs along the Greenbrier River and stretches from Cass in Pocahontas County south to Caldwell in Greenbrier County.
The only reason to call this “mountain biking” is that the trail is mostly gravel, so it’s a good idea to use a mountain or cyclocross bike. With a wide path and a 1-percent grade (if heading north), it’s an easy ride. The north end of the trail in Pocahontas County is heavily forested, so it stays cool, even in the summer.
What Makes It Great
The Greenbrier River Trail is an easy bike ride for half-day or multi-day excursions. You can shuttle a car and do the full 78-mile point-to-point ride from Cass to Lewisburg (or vice versa). If you don’t want to do this all in one go, there are campsites and lodging options along the way where you can stop and rest for the night. And, you can have a lot of fun pre- or post-ride in either Cass or Lewisburg, because each town has fun activities. Enjoy a steam engine train ride up a mountain to the site of an old logging camp in Cass, or stay the night in Lewisburg where you will find a variety of restaurants, retail shops, and accommodations, as well as a little downtown area.
If the full point-to-point doesn’t interest you, you can always leave a car at any of the trailheads along the route and ride a fun out-and-back any distance of your choosing. The trail travels through some of the most isolated areas in West Virginia, and in some sections, it is adjacent to the Monongahela National Forest.
Who is Going to Love It
This trail appeals to bikers looking for a relaxing ride, but potentially interested in pushing mileage. It’s also a great way to get away from civilization and find some solitude without ever feeling like you are completely isolated—while the trail is very remote in some parts, other sections pass through neighborhoods and towns where there are shops and accommodations.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
The Greenbrier River Trail is managed by the West Virginia State Park system. There is no fee to use the trail or to park in any of the designated parking areas.
You can camp at 20 rustic campsites along the trail, and there is no fee or pre-registration necessary. Dogs are welcome, but have to be on leash at all times at campsites. More modern accommodations are also available throughout the ride.
Wear blaze orange when riding this trail in the fall, because portions of the trail run adjacent to land where hunting is permitted.
*Because of flooding, only the section from mile marker 3.5 to mile marker 7 on the Greenbrier River Trail are open. The rest of the trail will re-open when volunteers can finish cleanup.