With hundreds of miles of trails coursing up and down West Virginia’s steep mountains, the state has trail running routes to satisfy everyone from casual joggers to endurance athletes—and many of the top trails in the Mountain State can be found right here in the New River Gorge. So, if you are new to the area, new to trail running, or looking for a new favorite trail, let us help you find your perfect trail running route.
If you are looking for a quintessential New River Gorge trail run, choose the Endless Wall Trail. The out-and-back trail (which can be turned into a loop if you run a short distance on the road) traces the rim of the New River Gorge and offers stunning, cliff-top views. Along the way, it takes you through rhododendron tunnels, across creeks, to rocky outcroppings, and even offers glimpses of the New River Gorge Bridge.
Distance: 2.4 miles (one way)
Trailhead: Fern Creek Trailhead (off of Lansing-Edmond Road)
Trail running tip: This trail is littered with roots and rocks, so it requires some attention. Don’t get so distracted by the views that you can’t keep an eye on the ground.
Ready to feel the burn? Push your legs to the limit by running the short but steep Kaymoor Miners Trail. The trail begins as a steep dirt path leading into the gorge, and midway down you will reach the historic Kaymoor Mine site. There, the trail transforms into a wooden stairway that descends more than 800 steps into the gorge. Take your time running down the frequently-slick wooden steps. Then, after checking out the historic site at the bottom, charge back to the top. If you can’t run back up the entire flight of stairs don’t be ashamed to throw in a mix of running and walking. Even if you choose to walk the entire way back up, the climb is a healthy workout.
Distance: 1 mile (one way)
Trailhead: Kaymoor Top (off of Gatewood Road)
Trail running tip: Pace yourself on the stair climb by alternating running one flight of stairs and walking the next.
The Fayetteville Trail offers a variety of different terrain, obstacles, and distances, depending on where you begin and which route you take. You can begin on the outskirts of town at Fayetteville Town Park, in the depths of the gorge at the Wolf Creek Trailhead, or at the Kaymoor Top trailhead. Then, follow the winding loops of the trail across creeks, up and down hills, and through narrow, tree-lined corridors. The Fayetteville Trail is the thread that connects many of the trails within the New River Gorge’s network. This means a run on this trail can be as long or short as you wish. You can run a short section in the Town Park or connect with other neighboring trails to extend the distance up to 8-plus miles.
Distance: ~4 miles (one way), distance varies
Trailhead: Wolf Creek Trailhead, Kaymoor Top, or Town Park
Trail running tip: Bring a map or a phone with GPS, the many loops and intersecting trails can get confusing.