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Hatfield-McCoy Regional Recreation Area, West Virginia

A 400-mile system of trails weaving throughout eight counties in southern West Virginia.
See more photos of the trail entered in the 2004 National Recreation Trails Photo Contest.

Read about the Economic benefits of the Hatfield-McCoy trail system .

Photos from the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System

West Virginia Map

Spanning over 400 miles across 8 counties, this backcountry trail system provides a safe recreational experience for a variety of trail uses, including all-terrain vehicle use, mountain biking, hiking, and horseback riding. In addition to linking cultural resources, this trail system attracts tourism dollars and has provided an economic boost for communities throughout the region. Given the recreational and economic benefits generated, and the numerous partners and landowners involved, this trail system should be commended for what has been achieved through a diverse partnership.

photo of ATV on trail
Challenging trails are a big part of the system's appeal

The Hatfield-McCoy Regional Recreation Area is better known as the "Hatfield-McCoy Trails." It is a professionally designed trail system that includes opportunities for a wide range of users. The first 300 miles opened to the public in October 2000 use private and corporate owned property. Expansion plans will be continuing until the trails reach a network of 2,000 miles through eight counties in southern West Virginia: Boone, Lincoln, Logan, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Wayne and Wyoming.

The trails have sold over 23,000 permits since opening and have had visitors from forty-six states and six countries. Survey data indicates that 57.3% of our visitors are very likely to return and feel their visit was "Great-worth the trip," and 34.8% indicate the trails are "Awesome-best place ever ridden."

The intention of the trail system is to provide the finest recreational trails experience in the country. The trail system compliments the natural beauty of the Appalachian Mountains and is one that cooperating landowners, area residents and businesses are proud to host. The trail system has sparked an entrepreneurial spirit throughout southern West Virginia. Many new businesses have been generated and old businesses on the verge of closing; have now been rejuvenated. (Please see the Army Corp of Engineers study enclosed for economic impact information).

photo of girl with horse

Horses and mountain bicycles are also popular uses of the trail system

 

The Hatfield-McCoy Trail System is designed on privately owned property. Each trail within the system is numbered and rated according to difficulty: Green = Easiest, Blue = More Difficult, Black = Most Difficult, and Orange = Single Track. The Bureau of Land Management provides oversight on construction, maintenance, and environmental issues. The trail systems currently connect to the towns of Matewan and the Gilbert. This allows trail riders to enter towns for lodging, food, water, etc.

The Hatfield-McCoy Trail System interacts with many historical towns, monuments, museums and other tourist attractions such as: The Matewan Massacre, Twisted Gun Golf Course, Shawnee Living History Trail, Coal Heritage Trail, Chief Logan Civil War and Indian Museum, and Hatfield Cemetery, where the famous "Devil Anse Hatfield" statue is located. Each town has its own unique history and places to visit. The Hatfield-McCoy Regional Recreation Authority not only draws interest to the trail system: once visitors are here, they are anxious to learn the history that surrounds southern West Virginia.

photo of young ATV rider
Education and involvement of youth are goals of the Hatfield-McCoy project.

The cost of a 1-day permit is $15, a 7-day permit is $35, West Virginia residents pay $25 per year and out-of-state residents pay $100 per year.

The Hatfield-McCoy Trail System has been featured in many popular sports-oriented magazines such as Dirt Wheels, ATV Action, ATV Sport, REV Magazine, and ATV Magazine. We recently played host to ATV Magazine TV, which aired a 6-minute segment on The Outdoor Life Network and The Discovery Channel. The Hatfield-McCoy Trails website (www.trailsheaven.com) received 2.3 million hits during the month of June 2003.

Finally, the Coalition for Recreational Trails recently awarded the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System the "2003 Achievement Award" for Outstanding Use of Recreational Trails Program Funds in the category of Construction and Design-Long Distance.

The National Recreation Trails Program
American Trails, P.O. Box 491797, Redding, CA 96049-1797 (530) 547-2060 Fax: (530) 547-2035 nrt@americantrails.org www.AmericanTrails.org

 

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