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By: Tim Donaldson’s Upcoming Feature Coverage of the Hatfield-McCoy Trails and Trail Fest 2008

In the mid nineteenth-century, a dispute escalated between two rivaling families along the Tug Fork River banks near the present-day towns of Matewan, West Virginia and Pikeville, Kentucky. Classically known as the Hatfield-McCoy Feud, the event has spawned myth, lore, and legend--overshadowing the unfortunate calamity which was incited by opposing sides of the Civil War and a “Pig in Court.”

With such a rich and well-known history in the southern-most region of West Virginia, it is easy to see how one of the nation’s premier, multi-use trail systems received its recognizable identification as the Hatfield-McCoy Trails. Established in1996 by West Virginia Legislature as a statutory corporation, the trail system was designed to be, and has become, a significant factor in the economic life of the region. By providing exemptions from liability to private landowners, State Legislation has created a mutually beneficial public-private partnership which has made the Hatfield-McCoy Trails a possibility.

Currently, the Hatfield-McCoy Trails operates in 5 of its 9 project counties and consists of six individual trail systems with several hundred miles of trails which are open 365 days a year to ATVs, dirt bikes, select UTVs, mountain bikes, horses, and hikers. Boasting “ATV-Friendly” towns with many of the trail’s community connectors, OHV users can legally navigate throughout these communities. In time the existing trails systems are expected to expand throughout all 9 operating counties with an anticipated network of over 2000 miles of trails.

Each trail system and hosting community offers something unique to ATV enthusiasts. So, with so much to see and offer, has partnered with the Hatfield-McCoy Trails to take an in-depth look at each of the existing six trails systems and Hatfield-McCoy’s 2008 Trail Fest, taking place October 9-13.

Each of the upcoming, individualized segments will highlight trail/terrain characteristics, geographical notes, community information, and anecdotes of our adventures. We will begin with our summer excursion to the Little Coal River and Bearwallow trail systems, followed by our trip accounts to Buffalo Mountain, Rockhouse, Pinnacle Creek, and Indian Creek, so we invite you to check back and join us as we discover what makes the Hatfield-McCoy Trails a world-class trail system.

In the mean time, plan your own trip to the Hatfield-McCoy Trails. The weather is cooling off a bit and the leaves are approaching their peak fall color, and don’t worry, the Hatfield and McCoy families get along now. Trail Permits are currently $26.50 (WV residents) and $47.00 (non-WV residents). We may even see you at Trail Fest, so wave or smile if we take your picture! Visit for more information about the trails and Trail Fest 2008.

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