A treat awaits you and your pup in West Virginia if you are looking for a great pup-friendly hiking spot. The Ralph S. Larue West Fork Trail should be listed as destination #1 on your to-do list.
The trail runs for 14 miles between the towns of Shinnston and Fairmont, passing through the communities of Everson, Worthington, Hutchinson and Monongah, all of which are accessible along the hike! In total, there are 7 trailhead locations you can pick up along the way, each named for the town they begin in!
The West Fork Trail was originally an 1860’s B&O Railroad line which was converted for use by residents’ and visitors’ for hiking, biking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing! It is used year-round and is maintained throughout the varied seasons for everyone and every pup to enjoy! You will cross three foot bridges and get to see an old mill dam from another era.
The trail is nearly level the entire way which makes it perfect for all pup-fitness levels and also offers handicapped accessibilty from each trailhead. You can travel through the beautiful scenic countryside of the area, including open lands, forests and old coal communities, and two community parks, namely Hutchinson Park and Worthington Park. The latter offers a great place to fish and wade in the water, pup included.
Plenty of benches are placed along the route for you to sit and rest Fido’s paws. Clean up stations are scattered along the trail as well, so you can help keep this trail pup-tastic and pup-friendly! Restrooms can be found at the trailheads along with drinking fountains. The trails are maintained year-round by volunteers, making them always beautiful to enjoy! Keep your furry friend on leash throughout your hike.
Visit the Ralph S. Larue West Fork Trail and begin your hiking adventure today!