W.Va. has many wonderful hiking and biking trails
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- When West Virginia is a place of wilderness and wonder, why not make use of our wild and wonderful hiking and biking parks now that summer is officially here?
Just 100 yards from downtown Charleston, the Sunrise Carriage Trail is a .65-mile nature trail you can ride your bike or hike on. It's also a great place to take your dog, which is allowed if it's on a leash.
Kanawha City Elementary fifth-grader Henry Schwartz loves hiking there. "My favorite place to hike is on the Carriage Trail in Charleston with my family," he said.
The trail is open at sunrise and closes at sunset. You can get a map at www.carriagetrail.org.
Seven miles south of Charleston, Kanawha State Forest is a recreational haven. It's a 9,300-acre forest with a pet-friendly atmosphere. Visit www.kanawhastateforest.com for a list of hiking and biking trails and other activities.
"My favorite hiking place would probably have to be Kanawha State Forest because you don't have to pay to go on any special trip," said Elkview Middle School seventh-grader Garrett Cantrell. "You can just go whenever you please, and it's really pretty out there, too."
In Fayetteville, the New River Gorge has many hiking and biking trails to choose from, which will show some of West Virginia's rich history. Some are easier than others. You can go to www.newriverwv.com for more information, including length and difficulty level.
"I like it because it is quiet and peaceful," said Horace Mann Middle School eighth-grader Emmy McPhail of the Gorge. "All of my worries just flow down the river when I'm there."
Blackwater Falls State Park in Tucker County definitely has natural beauty. The park has more than 20 miles of hiking trails, and many breathtaking sights such as Lindy Point and the Blackwater River. Visit www.blackwaterfalls.com for a trail map.
Capital High School freshman Cayce Murphy said, "It is a great place to go with many pretty views."
The Meadow River Trail is 16.7 miles long and is between Rainelle and Nallen. It's a rail-trail, which means it is on an old railroad. It's a great place to spend a day and experience some of the history that happened on the tracks. Find out more about it by searching "Meadow River Trail" on www.TrailLink.com.
The Murphy-Chambers Farm Trails in Harpers Ferry take you back to John Brown's raid in 1859. The three-mile trail includes the campaign site of Kate Field, a Washington, D.C., journalist who had an interest in preserving John Brown memorabilia. She held a campaign to return his fort to Harpers Ferry.
Alexander Murphy gave Field five acres in 1891. In 1895, John Brown's Fort was rebuilt on the Murphy's side of the farm. You can see it and experience the sights they saw while hiking this trail.
It's open daily from 8 p.m. to 5 p.m. You can find out more by going to www.historicharpersferry.com and clicking on "Things to Do in Harpers Ferry (Description)."
Do you have a favorite hiking or biking trail in West Virginia? Tell us in the comments section below.