January 28, 2019
Trail Race Training – Southside Trail Guide
Located deep in the New River Gorge and running parallel to the New River, The Southside Trail offers visitors a taste of West Virginia history, as well as an avenue to get outside and get active. The seven-mile trail can be accessed from Cunard, an area that is known for its use as a Lower New River Rafting put-in.
New River Gorge Southside Trail
The trail is located on the footprint of former railroad tracks and provides hikers with a nice, easy, levelly graded trail, which travels directly alongside the river for the entire duration. The flat nature of the trail makes it a great training option for runners and mountain bikers who are new to their respective sports. And, because the trail is out-and-back (not a loop), visitors can choose to do as little or as much of the trail as they desire, heading back to their cars at whatever point they want.
Perhaps the best part of the Southside Trail is its proximity to coal-mining ruins. The towns of Red Ash, Brooklyn, and Rush Run were built along the former railroad tracks, the ruins of these towns and their former glory can still be seen. Coke ovens, home foundations, and graveyards can be found for those willing to venture into history. Allow yourself plenty of time to explore, as some of these ruins are not located directly off the trail. Be cautious, the bridges located on the trail are often slimy and moss-covered.
Whether you’re a hiker, a biker, a runner, a birdwatcher, a nature enthusiast, or a history buff, the Southside Trail offers something for people of all ages.