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The North Bend Rail Trail is a 72 mile multiuse trail. It is designed to serve bicyclists, hikers, and horse back riders. No motorized vehicles are allowed on the trail, except motorized wheelchairs for the handicapped. It has a crushed limestone surface. Areas are blacktopped in some towns. The trail goes through small towns and open country side. It goes through 10 tunnels and crosses 38 bridges. There are three original B&O Railroad depots along the trail. They are located in Salem, Smithton, and Pennsboro. The depot in Pennsboro is open on some weekends in the summer months and by appointment. The Smithton depot is open by appointment. The Salem depot is closed due to a fire.

tunnel
Suggestions for a Safe Ride on the Trail
horse
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West Virginia Sojourn a Success
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©2016 North Bend Rails to Trails Foundation, Inc.

Make sure to wear the appropriate clothing and footwear taking into consideration your outdoor activity and weather conditions. It is also very important to ensure you have an adequate supply of water or other beverage (alcohol is prohibited in state parks), and snacks to allow you to complete your visit comfortably. There are long stretches of the trail where no safe drinking water is available.

West Virginia law requires youths 14 and younger to wear a helmet while biking. Regardless of age, wearing a helmet is highly advisable as the potential for head injuries is greatly increased if the rider is involved in an accident. Headphones and other non essential items are discouraged as they compromise safety for everyone on the trail. You should carry a flashlight or have a headlight on your bike. The tunnels can be very dark and for your safety a light is needed to see where you are going in the tunnels.

Important Right of Way Information

There are also some right-of-way rules you should observe. Bikers must yield to hikers, and both bikers and hikers must yield to horseback riders and horse- driven wagons. It is very important to stop your bicycle and let horses pass. Never approach from the rear of a horse without warning. It is recommended to stop and call out to the rider you are there. Let him determine when it is safe to pass the horse. These rules are important for a multiuse trail such as ours.

Please do not leave trash on the trail. The plants along the trail are part of the natural experience that makes riding on our trail so special. Do not remove plants. The old spelunkers motto "Leave nothing but tracks, take nothing but pictures" applies to trail use also.

The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's West Virginia Sorjourn from Jun. 19 to June 22 2016 had 128 riders collectively hailing from 26 states.

Tom Sexton from the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy reports "From the 89 riders who provided comments, we learned that the average age of the riders was almost exactly the same as last year, 54. But you ranged in age from 7 to 77, and 29 percent of you are retired. We received a 4.5 for overall value, and that makes me very happy. Given our scale of 1-5 with 5 being best, pre-ride information satisfaction scored 4.2, campsites scored 4.6, food scored 4.3, and registration and check-in scored 4.6—good work Wilderness Voyageurs! Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback." He also stated "North Bend State Park was the best campsite ever—yeah, ever!"

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Trail Conditions Alert

Oct. 25, 2016

Repair work between MM #35 & #37(between Pennsboro & Ellenboro) has been completed.The trail is open.West of Silver Run Tunnel trail work is being done. There may be muddy conditions untill work is completed. Caution for bikers, there is uneven surface on the Ellenboro bridge. Ditching, drain work and tree/brush removal is being done from Tunnels #7 to #8 MM#40.5 to MM#37.5. The trail and tunnel portals are drying out from recent heavy rains. Trial conditions can change if more heavy storms hit the region.

Even though we have been given a grant for improvements in Doddridge and Harrison County, no work has been started. We hope the finalization on the grant will be completed soon. This portion of the trail is in rough condition and extreme caution should be used when using it.

CONDITION ALERT: Be advised that between mile marker 42.5 and 50.5 (approx.), the trail is not improved. This portion of the trail is gravel, dirt and grass, and wide-tired bikes are recommended.

To report hazards such as downed trees, aggressive dogs or other problems, please call North Bend State Park at 304-643-2931. In an real emergency, please call 911.

 

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