Greenbrier River Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"The queen of West Virginia’s rail-trails, and one of the longest and most scenic in the country, the Greenbrier River Trail parallels the rapid-filled Greenbrier River in a landscape punctuated by tall peaks. Winding through the Greenbrier River Valley, it visits a blend of dark forests and steep cliffs, small towns and plush pastures, with souvenirs of its railroading days including thirty-five trestles and long-forgotten whistlestops. Surface: Original ballast, made of mostly hard-packed gravel and rock, with one short section of limestone chips between Renick and Horrock (the lime-stone came from Renick Rock Quarry near mile 26)."
--Barbara A. Noe, Rails To Trails: Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia (The Globe Pequot Press).
"The first 23 miles of the 77-mile trail are described here. The beautiful and scenic Greenbrier River is a constant companion for the entire length of the trail. The Greenbrier River Trail is the longest rail trail in West Virginia. Beginning at Cass Scenic Railroad State Park, it winds its way 77 miles to Caldwell. The trail, designated as a Millennium Legacy Trail, has a one percent grade from start to finish. Although the trail is long, it is not physically taxing. The trail crosses thirty-five bridges and passes through two tunnels, traveling through small, forgotten railroad towns and green pastures. Camping facilities and water are located all along the trail."
--Steven Carroll and Mark Miller, Hiking West Virginia (Falcon Guides).
"In a state with many fabulous rail-trails offering spectacular views and an abundance of natural wonders, the 77-mile-long Greenbrier River Trail (GRT) is the crown jewel of West Virginia’s impressive trail selection. The gravel-surfaced route travels from Cass in the north to Caldwell in the south, following the Greenbrier River for most of the trip. Begin at Cass Scenic Railroad State Park and enjoy a slight downhill slope on your route south."
--Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Rail-Trail Hall of Fame (Wilderness Press).
I rode about 2/3 of the trail from Cass to Rennick. I enjoyed the scenery very much
but did not like the loose large gravel surface, especially from Cass to Marlinton.
From Caldwell to Cass, this trail is one of the most enjoyable bike rides in the area. The twists and turns of the trail provide such beautiful views of the river. The trail is particularly nice in the fall and in the late afternoon/evening when the sun is low in the sky and shadows are cast from the ridges down to the river valley. A wonderful experience in the Alleghany Mountains.
Great rail-trail. My brother, myself and then 12 year old son rode it. We were dropped off at Cass mid-day and rode down to Marlinton. We ate there and stayed in a nice Bed & Breakfast. After a large breakfast we headed south. A large black bear with THREE cubs crossed the trail in front of us just south of Marlinton. Plenty of water (hand pumps) along the way as well as toilets. The gravel used in some sections is more suited for fatter tires. Finished out in Caldwell that afternoon.
We rode from Marlinton to Seebert (20 miles roundtrip) and Marlinton to Clover Lick (30 miles round trip) and then Seebert to Renick ( about 25 round trip). The entire trail was well maintained with very few riders. We stayed at Naturally You Bed and Breakfast in Marlinton, which was excellent. The tunnels and bridges were cool.Do not eat at The River Place in Marlinton. Go to the Elk River Restaurant, just north of Marlinton on Highway 219. The food is excellent and they serve alcohol! (The town of Marlinton does not have alcohol available)
The trail itself was well kept. We did a 27 mile section of the northern-most section starting at Cass going south to Marlington. The trail is all gravel though and extremely tough on the feet. Other than that, very good.
If you are up for a hot shower and a good night's sleep, there is a bed and breakfast in Marlington called the Old Clark Inn that was very cozy, had a great breakfast and the rates were good too. Not a bad way to start the day!
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