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Trails

Visitor on the boardwalk - Credit: Laura Moul.

Download the 2016 Trail Map (pdf)

Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge Trails/Roads 

1. Freeland Boardwalk Trail: (0.4 mile, including loop) Easy. Nice views of Canaan Valley abound on this short accessible boardwalk leading through a wet field, shrubland, and past a beaver pond and bubbling spring. An easy walk takes visitors to a stand of balsam fir, a plant community typical of Maine and Canada. Pedestrian only.

2. Idlemans Run Trail: (0.4 mile, one way) Moderate. This short pedestrian trail travels through woodlands along Idlemans Run. Trail length is 0.40 mile and is for pedestrian use only. Return on Forest Road 80 and back to make a loop which totals 0.9 miles. Idlemans Run access road is open for bicycle, horseback, pedestrian.

3. Beall (pronounced “bell”) Trails: (4.7 total miles) Easy to Moderate. A parking area at the end of Beall Lane Road, off Cortland Road, leads to 4.7 miles of trails. Loops go north and south from the parking area.   

Beall North Trail (1.9 miles, one way) passes through forest, field, shrub swamp, and bog habitats. Pedestrian only.

Beall Connector Trail (0.2 mile, one way). Pedestrian only.

Black Water View Trail (0.6 mile, one way). Bicycles and pedestrian.

Bog Overlook Trail (0.1 mile, one way). Pedestrian only.

Beall Bridge Trail (0.3 miles, one way). Bicycles, horses, and pedestrians.

Beall South Loop Trail (1.4 miles, round trip) offers good opportunities for viewing grassland birds, before dipping into the forest, down to the Blackwater River. Pedestrian only.

Shortcut Trail (0.2 mile, one way), easy, allows access to Beall Loop South from Beall Bridge Trail. Pedestrian only.

4. River’s Edge Trail (0.06 mile, one way) Easy. Short trail from Camp 70 parking lot through hemlock grove to allows launching of small boats/kayaks into Blackwater River.  Pedestrian only.  

5. Brown Mountain Trail: (2.1 miles, one way) Moderate. The Brown Mountain Trail travels north from the Camp 70 parking lot. This is a pleasant trail through the forest with a gently increasing grade. It leads to Brown Mountain Overlook Trail. Listen for different woodland birds, including scarlet tanagers and a variety of warblers. Open for pedestrian, horse, and bicycle use.

6. Brown Mountain Overlook Trail: (2 mile loop) Moderate. This loop on the valley floor provides a beautiful over­look of Canaan Valley’s wetlands. Watch for a variety of water birds and wetland plants. Pedestrian only.

7. Camp 70 Loop Trail: (2.4 miles, round trip)  Moderate. Camp 70 Loop Trail travels east from the Camp 70 parking lot. The trail pro­vides excellent views of beaver ponds and the refuge’s central wetlands. This trail is open for pedestrian, horse, and bicycle use.

8. Cabin Mountain Trail: (2.2 miles, one way) Moderate to Difficult. Passes through forested habitat and travels up slope for a beautiful view of the Valley. Look for woodland birds and other wildlife. Open for pedestrian, horse, and bicycle use.

9. Cabin Mountain Spur Trail: (0.8 mile, one way) Moderate. This is a steep trail travels through northern hard­wood forest for most of its length. Easy access for this trail begins near the A-Frame Road parking lot. Open for pedestrian, horse, and bicycle use.

10. Sand Run Trail: (0.9 mile, one way) Moderate. This trail travels through forested and wetland habitat to join with Middle Valley Trail (west) and Cabin Mountain (east) on either end. A variety of wildlife can be viewed on this trail. Pedestrian only.

11. South Glade Run Crossing Trail: (0.8 mile, one way) Moderate. South Glade Run Crossing Trail travels through for­ested and grassland habitats to connect Cabin Mountain trail to Middle Valley trail. The trail crosses Glade Run on a footbridge and has nice views of the Glade Run wetlands. Open for pedestrian, horse, and bicycle use.  

12. Middle Valley Trail: (6 miles, one way) Moderate. This trail crosses Sand Run and Glade Run as it travels along a low sandstone ridge. Near Glade Run alder thickets harbor unique plant and animal species. Bog goldenrod and cottongrass grow in the northern reach of the trail. From spring through fall be on the lookout for savannah sparrows, vesper sparrows, American bittern and many different warblers. Open for pedestrian, horse and bicycle use. Note: The north stream crossing is often flooded because to on-going beaver dam building activity. Please plan accordingly  

13. Blackwater View Trail: (1.4 mile, one way) Moderate. This trail travels from Middle Valley Trail, through forest, and ends at the Blackwater River. Look for belted kingfishers flying along the river and bald eagles soaring high above. Listen for wood frogs and spring peepers calling from ponds along the trail in the spring­time. Open for pedestrian, horse, and bicycle use.

14. Valley Overlook: (0.05 mile, one way) Difficult. Experience a beautiful view of the northern end of Canaan Valley. The Valley Overlook is a short steep trail. Pedestrian

15. Canaan Mountain Trail: (1 mile, one way) Moderate. Open for pedestrian and bicycle use.

16. Hellbender’s Tail Trail: (0.1 mile, one way) Easy. Open for pedestrian and bicycle use.

17. Shady Hollow Trail: (0.03 mile, one way) Easy. Open for pedestrian and bicycle use.

18. Blackwater River Fishing Access Trail @ Camp 70: (0.2 miles, one way)Easy.Pedestrian only.

19: Wilderness Way Trail: (0.3 mile, one way) Easy. Beginning at the day use parking area at the top of Forest Road 80, this trail skirts intermittent ponds and red spruce forests to arrive at the US Forest Service/Dolly Sods Wilderness area property boundary. Open for pedestrian and horse use (on refuge property).

20: Fishing Hook Trail: (0.2 miles, one way) Easy. This short trail allows fishing access at pond area. Pedestrian only.

A-Frame Road and adjacent trails: A-Frame Road is 9 miles long from Route 93 to the endpoint at the Refuge parking lot, and passes through the forested slopes of Cabin Mountain for most of its length. In a few loca­tions there are nice views of the valley. Parking is permitted in the designated lot and along roadsides on the Refuge. A-Frame Road is a public access route open to pedestrian, horse, bicycle, and vehicle use. This road is not maintained in winter.

Forest Road 80: (2.0 miles, one way) Moderate. This public access road is open to pedestrian, horse, bicycle, and vehicle use. Forest Road 80 provides access from the Canaan Valley to Dolly Sods Wilderness Area. This road is not maintained in winter. 
Page Photo Credits — Visitor on the boardwalk - Credit: Laura Moul.
Last Updated: Feb 25, 2016
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