A unique escape. A fresh perspective. A special ride through Clay County’s mountains

A rail trail has been in the works in Clay County for quite some time. The floods of June 2016 impacted many regions of West Virginia. Workers in Clay County were almost finished with an exciting project, set to open 22 miles of trail between Clay and the former mining town of Widen.

The trail would be accessible for hikers, horseback riders, bicyclists, and other outdoor enthusiasts. As the workers neared the end of the project, the floods of 2016 tragically washed most of the trail away, leaving the workers back at square one. The trails and the rails that ran along-side them were left covered in debris, and workers were left with a choice – admit defeat or persevere. Luckily, they chose the latter. Crews began clearing the rail lines and trails, ultimately deciding to re-purpose their project as a “rail with trail.”

Workers opened the rail line to visitors by adding rail bikes – something not found anywhere else in the state. The Clay County Business Development Authority developed the line to accommodate 2.5-hour trips along a six-mile trail between Dundon and the site that was formerly the town of Adair. Workers are constantly improving the trail, adding more rail bikes to accommodate even larger groups.

The Clay County rail bikes are perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. The trail will take you through the rolling hills of the Mountain State, giving you a chance to see countless species of wildlife and jaw dropping views. Workers could have thrown in the towel on the entire project after the floods of 2016, but thankfully they found a silver lining – or steel lining in this case – and created one of the most unique tourism attractions on the East Coast. Visitors interested in reserving a trip on the rail bikes are encouraged to visit the Clay County Business Development Authority’s Facebook page or call 304-618-7992.

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This post was last updated on March 17, 2022