Little Beaver State Park - Trail Running

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About

Summary

Little Beaver State Park’s highly technical and steep singletrack trails are a challenge to even the most seasoned trail runners.

Written by

Neil Humphrey

Distance

19.1 miles

There are 18 trails that range from .25 miles to 2.6 miles.

Destination Distance From Downtown

50.0 miles

Difficulty

4 of 5 diamonds

Trail running at Little Beaver is tough. The park is mostly singletrack trails full of rocks, roots and steep ascents/descents.

Time To Complete

2 hours

There are a variety of loops in the park, so time it will take you is dependent on which one you choose and how far you plan to go.

Seasonality

All Seasons

The park is open year round, but the melting snow and constant rains in the spring can make several trails muddy, and the fallen leaves in late fall and winter can be slippery. Come in the early summer to see the thousands of rhododendrons blooming in a bouquet of pink, purple, and white.

Dog Friendly

On Leash Only

Fees Permits

No

Review

Intro

Trail running at Little Beaver State Park comes down to one thing— obstacles. Your footing and agility will be put to the test as you scramble over countless roots and rocks along narrow singletrack. The 18 trails total just short of 20 miles, which gives you several options about how far and how long you’d like to run. The calming, pleasant sound of the streams as you run through tunnels of rhododendrons will keep you pushing forward!

What Makes It Great

Highly technical trails through dense thickets and alongside flowing creeks make Little Beaver a favorite for trail runners who like a challenge. A good place to start is Railroad Grade, a 1.95-mile loop on a hard-packed dirt surface that used to be a line for a logging railroad. This route takes you through multiple rock gardens and root beds alongside Laurel Run Creek. Or, you can try Rhododendron Run, one of the longest trails in the park at 2.5 miles. This route takes you through nearly every variety of landscape at Little Beaver before you finish at a seemingly endless chain of rhododendrons and the cascading Beaver Creek.

For a nice challenge, try the .7-mile Toppers Ridge, which starts with a gradual climb and forces you to dodge a series of trees across the trail. Once you get to the top, you’ll skirt along the rolling, rocky singletrack path on the ridge, and weave through a dense forest before coming to flatter ground. If you want more punishment, turn right where Toppers Ridge intersects with Billy Goat’s Gruff for a very steep and rocky .5 miles. But, if you are ready to duck out, turn left and enjoy a harrowing descent to the lake.

Less experienced runners will have a great time on the Lake Front Trail, where a packed gravel path circles the lake.

Who is Going to Love It

Experienced trail runners who are looking for a highly technical run on singletrack that’s full of exposed roots, intense rock gardens, rutted out creek beds, and quickly alternating elevations will love Little Beaver. Intermediate runners looking to gain experience and raise their skill level will do well here, too. While beginning trail runners may find most of the trails too challenging, there are a couple, like the Lake Front Trail, that they can still enjoy.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

One of the greatest advantages of Little Beaver is its easy accessibility. To reach the park, take exit 129A off I-64 and turn left. The entrance will be just 2 miles ahead on your left. There is plenty parking throughout the park.

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Location

Little Beaver State Park

1402 Grandview Road
Beaver, WV, 25813
37.755955, -81.080315

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