Lying along the banks of the serene West Fork River, Shinnston, WV has a very long history. In fact, founder Levi Shinn’s log cabin is the oldest standing structure in North Central West Virginia!
Fortune hasn’t always favored Shinnston’s residents, though -- in 1944, the town was nearly leveled by the worst tornado in West Virginia’s history. But the citizens pulled together and pulled through, and today, Shinnston is known as small, family-friendly place, with a charming downtown chock full of small business and a strong community spirit that’s showcased during various events throughout the year.
Visit in late August and you and your pooch can take in some of the many outdoor events of the Frontier Days festival, including two parades and lots of open air concerts! Unfortunately, Shinnston doesn’t have its own veterinary practice, but you’ll find a choice of clinics to take care of your buddy in nearby Bridgeport.
There’s no designated dog park in Shinnston, but you and your pooch are still sure to sniff out something to do! A pretty, pawpular hiking trail runs right through town. Ferguson Park might be small, but it’s still a lovely little spot for a leashed walk. And if your furry friend needs to run free, don’t fret -- you’ll find some excellent off-leash adventure options in the surrounding area!
Spanning sixteen miles and connecting Shinnston to Fairmont, it’s easy to see why the West Fork River Trail is a pawpular spot with local dog owners! The converted railway line hugs close to the calm West Fork River -- you’ll probably run into some anglers along the way, as the river is well known for its fishing. The walk itself is beautiful, taking in scenery ranging from woodland to open space grassland and some interesting and colorful rock formations besides. Remember to bring your own water, as well as plenty of doggie waste bags to keep this beautiful area clean.