Prickett’s Fort State Park - Trail Running

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Summary

Prickett’s Fort is an impressive combination of historic attractions, scenic views, and well-paved, easy-to-navigate trails.

Written by

Olivia Bayer

Distance

20.2 miles

Prickett's Fort State Park acts as the trailhead to 2 separate trails. The Marion County Trail (MCTrail) goes for 2.5 miles and connects to the Mon River Trail South, which continues another 17.7 miles.

Destination Distance From Downtown

114.4 miles

Difficulty

1 of 5 diamonds

With trails that are mostly flat and paved, you can find scenic views of rivers and forest without having to navigate roots and rocks.

Time To Complete

1 hours

With the option to run up t0 40.4 miles out and back, you could spend 30 minutes running here or a whole day.

Seasonality

Spring, Summer, and Fall

Dog Friendly

On Leash Only

Fees Permits

No

Review

Intro

History and nature blend together seamlessly at Prickett’s Fort State Park. Reconstructed at the site of the original Prickett’s Fort, a wooden fortress that was a refuge from Native American war parties, this park is a must-see for any history fan or outdoorsman traveling through northern West Virginia. The park has 2 flat, paved trails perfect for beginner runners transitioning into trail running, or experienced runners looking to enjoy scenic views of rivers and forest without having to navigate roots and rocks.

What Makes It Great

Prickett's Fort State Park acts as the trailhead to 2 separate but linked trails. The Marion County Trail, known as the MCTrail, is 2.5 miles and connects to the Mon River Trail South, which continues another 17.7 miles. The Mon River Trail South eventually connects to the Caperton Trail and the Mon River Trail North in Morgantown, WV. Because the trails are paved with crushed limestone or asphalt, you can enjoy a smooth run as you cruise alongside the Monongahela River, past occasional waterfalls and beside a beautiful forest. The MCTrail is great for a quick out-and-back run, while the Mon River Trail South continues for several miles through northern West Virginia and into Pennsylvania, and gives you the chance to extend your run for as many miles as you want.

If you’re also interested in history, then this is a great spot for a run. In addition to the impressive and enjoyable trails, a re-construction of Pricketts Fort from 1774 stands on a small hilltop overlooking the river. The living history fort has historical re-enactments, tours, a museum shop, and even live entertainment at an outdoor amphitheatre. The original Job Prickett House, built in 1859 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, still stands on-site as well. The combination of history, nature, the nearby Monongahela River, and Prickett’s Bay all add to the park’s appeal, whether you’re a runner, history buff, fisherman, or all 3 rolled into 1.

Who is Going to Love It

Prickett’s Fort State Park’s smooth, flat trails offer the perfect chance for new runners or transitioning road runners to test out their skills on an easy course. Experienced trail runners will appreciate the scenic views, but won’t be challenged by this run. Runners who also like to fish will feel right at home at Prickett’s Fort, because there is an easily accessible boat launch to Prickett’s Creek and Bay. You could easily enjoy a nice run or walk on the trails, explore the fort’s history, and still have time for a picnic lunch. This is a great place for a day trip for solo runners and families alike.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

From I-79, take Exit 139 towards East Fairmont/Prickett’s Creek Road. Take Prickett’s Fort Road to Overfort Lane by following signs for the park. There is a large parking lot adjacent to the Prickett’s Fort Visitors Center.

Prickett's Fort, a re-creation of an original rustic log fort from 1774, is open for tours from mid-April until the end of October, and is closed Mondays and Tuesdays after Labor Day. The fort has historical interpreters and educational programming for all ages. The surrounding park and trails remain open all year from 6am to 10pm.

There is no fee to use the trails, but the historic attractions charge $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, and $4 for children ages 6-12.

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Location

Prickett's Fort State Park

106 Overfort Lane
Fairmont, WV, 26554
39.514259, -80.095347

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