Mountwood Park - Trail Running

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About

Summary

The 2,600-acre Mountwood Park is the perfect blend of outdoor recreation and history.

Written by

Clay Abney

Distance

30.0 miles

There are 2 dozen trails in the park that range from less than .5-mile to several miles one way. Several of these can be combined for longer loops.

Destination Distance From Downtown

64.3 miles

Difficulty

3 of 5 diamonds

The 2 dozen trails in the park range from easy to difficult.

Time To Complete

1 hours

With over two dozen trails within the park and more than fifty miles total, time needed is dependent on the trail chosen.With 24 trails and a variety of distances to choose from, you can spend an hour to a full day at the park.

Seasonality

All Seasons

The park is open year round. Fall is especially beautiful when the leaves change color, but there is never a bad time to hit the trails at Mountwood Park.

Dog Friendly

On Leash Only

Fees Permits

No

Land Website

Mountwood Park

Review

Intro

Once the booming oil town of Volcano, WV, Mountwood Park is the perfect blend of history and outdoor recreation. Shortly before the American Civil War ended, W.C. Stiles purchased several thousand acres and began drilling for oil. When he struck black gold here, at what became just the 3rd oil field in the United States, more than 5,000 people flocked to the new town of Volcano. The town was destroyed by a fire in 1879 and never rebuilt. In the early 1980s, the 2,600-acre area was designated as Mountwood Park.

Just 12 miles east of Parkersburg, Mountwood Park has nearly 30 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, and trail running.

What Makes It Great

No visit to Mountwood Park would be complete without at least 1 trip to the ruins of the Thornhill Mansion, the former home of W.C. Stiles. You can get to ruins from the 2.6-mile round-trip Walter Taitt Trail. This crushed gravel trail is easy on the knees and the moderate grade won’t have you stopping too often to catch your breath. The Walter Taitt Trail is also a great starting point to get to several other trails. All of the intersecting trails are well-marked, and note approximate distance and difficulty so you will know exactly how long (or short) your run will be.

If you are looking to run longer distances, take the Walter Taitt Trail to the ruins as a warmup, then head back down and get on the Caretaker Trail before crossing over and joining the Four Corners Trail. Four Corners will intersect with the Lake Trail and take you back to the trailhead. For more of an adventure, take the Mansion Trail back from the ruins, jump on the short but difficult Power Line Trail, and then take Collar Bone Cutoff to the Collar Bone Trail back to your vehicle. With so many possibilities, no 2 runs need ever be the same at Mountwood Park.

Before heading out, stop by the park’s office or download a trail map from the park’s website to check out the extensive network of trails. The trails at Mountwood Park are well maintained by the River Valley Mountain Bike Association, and you will likely come across bikers on the trails, so stay alert while you run.

Who is Going to Love It

Mountwood Park has a variety of trails for runners of any level, so it’s easy to find something to suit your needs. If you’re a runner and history buff, this park will interest you because you can look around for historic relics, like the stone foundations of almost 150-year-old homes, throughout the run. The trails are also open to mountain bikers, horseback riders and cross-country skiing (in the winter).

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

From I-77, head east on Highway 50 to Volcano Road. When you get to the park, follow the signs to the marina. Parking is limited at the trailhead, but there is more parking at the marina and the trail is just a short walk up a paved road—just follow the signs for the Nature Trail.

There is no admission fee for the park and parking is free.

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Location

Mountwood Park

1014 Volcano Rd
Waverly, WV, 26184
39.25012, -81.30547

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