Walk, Bike, Run and Skate Your Way Through Marion CountyFebruary 22, 2023
There are many ways to explore Marion County, and a favorite is our rail trails. Once used for train travel, several of the county’s railways have been converted to multi-use paths that offer the perfect outdoor destination in any season. Here are four trails offering an ever-changing landscape kaleidoscope for users to enjoy.
McTrail and Meredith Tunnel
The name MCTRAIL comes from the reference to the “Marion County Trail,” which is what it was referred to. It was the first rail trail in North-Central West Virginia.
In 1989, the Marion County Parks and Recreation Commission (MCPARC) took ownership of the 125 acres of Monongahela Railroad property. The 2.5-mile paved surface trail was completed from Pricketts Fort State Park to the corner of Winfield Street and Morgantown Avenue in 1993. The 1200-foot-long Meredith Tunnel has been restored from its 1914 condition. The southern trailhead was completed in the fall of 2004, and the northern trailhead was completed in 2008.
Mon River Trail
Beginning at Pricketts Fort State Park, with three miles of packed limestone surface, this trail extends almost 15 miles into Monongalia County. In Mon County, it is divided by the Caperton Trail. The Mon River Trail North extends into Pennsylvania. The Mon River Trails Conservancy maintains the trail.
A challenging way to enjoy the trails is the Literacy Volunteers Run to Read Half Marathon held annually in January. This is a double-out and back course (1% grade). Starting on the paved MCTrail running through the Meredith Tunnel and back to Pricketts Fort is about 4.2 miles in length. The second section will be run on the Mon River Trail. This is USATF sanctioned race.
Take advantage of Pricketts Fort bike rentals. Across the street from the fort is the Mon River Trail South and McTrail trailhead. With ample parking, this is the perfect location to access both trails. Bicycles can be rented through the visitor center from April through October. Call 304.363.3030 or stop by to reserve bikes.
West Fork River Trail
In 1860, the B&O Railroad Company acquired the corridor and developed the tracks in 1890. In July 1995, MCPARC acquired the track area between Shinnston and Fairmont.
Trail work began during the winter of 1990, and the trail opened in 1997 while improvements continued. Improvements continue to this day, which includes the paving of the Marion County section and trailhead development. In 1999, the Marion County Commission added the name “Ralph S. LaRue Trail” to honor the MCPARC director responsible for development.
The trail features three bridges – 510 feet at Everson and 200 feet at Monongah. This is access to the river and various beaches throughout the entire length of the trail. The trail length is 14.5 miles with a paved surface. Road access is at U.S. Route 19, with endpoints at Shinnston and Fairmont.
Horses are permitted on Marion County rail trails. Please use the sides of the trail when possible and clean up after your equine companion.
Joel McCann Memorial Trail
Located in Mannington with a little over a mile of limestone trail, this trail links to the North Marion Senior Center walking path and crosses through the historic downtown.
Trail Rules & Regulations
To ensure the safety and enjoyment of all trail users, please observe these regulations:
Helmets are required for cyclists
Always alert others when passing
Pass only on the left. Stay to the right
Please keep pets on a short leash & scoop the poop
Yield to slower traffic
- Sue Ann Miller Trailhead – West Fork River Trail
(Mile 0, Lat. 39.39394, Lon. -80.30614)
- Hutchinson Trailhead – West Fork River Trail
(Mile 4.5, Lat. 39.44206, Lon. -80.27537)
- Worthington Trailhead – West Fork River Trail
(Mile 5.3, Lat. 39.45002, Lon. -80.26568)
- Everson Trailhead – West Fork River Trail
(Mile 8.5, Lat. 39.44853, Lon. -80.24490)
- Monongah Trailhead – West Fork River Trail
(Mile 10.5, Lat. 39.46183, Lon. -80.21436)
- Mary Lou Retton Park Trailhead – West Fork River Trail
(Mile 12.9, Lat. 39.47087, Lon. -80.18729)
- Winfield Street Trailhead – MCTRAIL
(Mile 0, Lat. 39.48874, Lon. -80.10975)
- Prickets Fort Trailhead – MCTRAIL
(Mile 2.4, Lat. 39.51765, Lon. -80.09512)
What’s your favorite way to explore Marion County?