The Coal Heritage Trail is a driving trail that winds through more than (13 counties) 187 rugged miles of scenic industrial heritage, where thousands of hard-working miners labored to produce the coal which created modern America.
The story of the southern West Virginia “smokeless” coalfields is a remarkable legacy of working-class culture, industrial might, racial and ethnic diversity, and the creation of a unique and distinctive culture of national significance. As you journey along the Coal Heritage Trail you will pass through National Historic Districts and see many of the physical remnants of the coal boom such as coal miners' homes, company stores, company offices, railroad yards and other structures that defined life in the "smokeless coal fields”.
You may want to visit the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine or stop in one of the many towns for a relaxing lunch and chat with some of the locals. The trail takes about 4.5 hours to drive and can be broken down into a two day travel experience. The Trail begins on RT. 52 in Bluefield and travels to Welch, the takes RT. 16 North to Ansted. No tolls. The Coal Heritage Trail Is part of the National Coal Heritage Area.