The AHT offers 31 miles of non-motorized recreation with exceptional scenery, from small towns and rural farmland to wooded forests and sweeping riverside vistas. Country roads form loops along the trail for a variety of pleasant bike rides. The adjacent Monongahela National Forest beckons mountain bikers and hikers to explore woodsy single track.
The AHT is being built by the West Virginia Division of Highways as bicycle accommodation and mitigation for the Appalachian Corridor H highway. In 2017, five miles of trail was added in Tucker County near Davis. The Randolph County Development Authority and the WVDOH partnered to complete a section from the Highland Park trailhead to the Elkins Depot in 2019.
The first 21-mile section of the AHT was built in 2001 from Elkins in Randolph County to Parsons in Tucker County. In 2004, an additional 2.63 miles of trail was completed by the WVDOH from the MNF Nursery Bottom at Bretz to Hendricks in Tucker County. Trail construction through the City of Parsons in 2006 added another mile to the AHT.
The City of Parsons took possession of the historic Western Maryland RR Bridge on the trail route in 2009. The bridge was refurbished and decked for trail use; a ribbon cutting took place in May 2011 in conjunction with the HTF. The Black Fork River bridge, also in Parsons, was replaced by the WVDOH in 2010. Construction of trail from the RR bridge through Mill Race Park to the new bridge connected existing trail sections to make nearly 25 continuous miles of scenic rail-trail from Elkins (Randolph County) to Hendricks (Tucker County).
A separate section of trail completed in 2017 north of Thomas near Davis in conjunction with Corridor H added five miles, while the long-awaited Elkins Rail Trail Connector project from Highland Park to the Elkins Depot added one more mile and finished the trail in Randolph County. A total of 31 miles of trail is now completed and Randolph and Tucker counties.
The HTF continues working to extend the Allegheny Highlands Trail in Tucker County.
NOTE: a section of the AHT (Mile 16-17) is closed for highway construction south of Parsons in Tucker County. Nearby MNF trails, including Shingle Tree and South Haddix, have also been impacted. It is not known how long this closure will be in effect. Please be aware that it is unsafe to traverse this section. US 219 is extremely dangerous and unsuitable as a ride around due to large trucks and heavy traffic. A backroad ride around is available for those who are in condition to undertake arduous climbs to the county line from either direction.
Ride around directions:
From Parsons: Leave the trail at the RR bridge in downtown going south toward the stoplight on US 219. You will pass the courthouse, and turn right at the stoplight to Rt. 72. In about 1/4 mi., turn left on Smokey Hollow Road. The sign may have a County Route #17. If you come to the Tucker County Board of Education (red brick old school building with a sign), you just missed it. Smokey Hollow begins to climb immediately, then descends to Clover Run Road. In about 3 or 4 mi, you come to a T for County Road #21, Clover Run Road. Turn left on 21. It is 8 miles from here to where you can intersect the AHT at Montrose. From Clover Run Road, take the 2nd left turn on a paved road and proceed through the community to the trail.
From Porterwood: Take the Shavers Fork Road CR39 at the trailhead and follow the river to intersect Pheasant Mountain Road #47. Bear right on 47 and climb to the county line, then plummet toward US Rt 219, cross 219 with caution at the old Leading Creek Fire Hall to Israel Church Road #3 and take the first left onto the AHT. This route is not as steep but may be a little longer.
Shavers Fork is a nice rolling ride along the river before the big climb, but Clover Run has less traffic. FYI, cell service is patchy on both. Also be aware that both roads have vehicular traffic so caution is advised.
Conditions on the Allegheny Highlands Trail from Gilman to Kerens have improved. Damage caused by broadband contractors during installation along the unpaved trail has been repaired. Ruts have been filled and compacted; small gravel has been spread in low areas. For cyclists seeking a smoother surface, a pleasant ride-around is available on the Leading Creek Road. See the AHT map for details. Please use caution as this road has moderate vehicular traffic. The HTF will continue working with WVDOH to address trail maintenance issues.