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By: Tim Donaldson

Hatfield-McCoy Trails – Little Coal River

Hatfield-McCoy Trails – Little Coal River
(Part of’s Feature Coverage of the  Hatfield-McCoy Trails)

Video - Hatfield McCoy Trail System
Video - Hatfield McCoy Trail System

Hatfield-McCoy Trails Visitor Center
Hatfield-McCoy Trails Visitor Center

Mud holes can be found
Mud holes can be found

60% of the Little Coal River trails are categorized as green (easiest)
60% of the Little Coal River trails are categorized as green (easiest)

One of the best things about a vacation is spending time with family.  Many times, though, the schedule and pace are so rigid that family interaction is exchanged for passing glances when asking Dad for a few more bucks to fund the day’s activities.  I know, because I’m “Dad.”  That’s one of the reasons why ATV riding is such a great family vacation alternative.  Typically, the expenses incurred during an ATV vacation are less extensive than some of the more traditional, and the family has a chance to spend more time with each other.  It’s perfect for creating lasting memories.

Serving as a great venue for one of these memorable family adventures is  Hatfield-McCoy’s Little Coal River Trail System.  The Little Coal River Trail System is one of six trail systems that make up the  Hatfield-McCoy Trails.  Located off of WV Route 119 near Madison and Danville, the Little Coal River Trail System offers more than 65 miles of trails of which 60% are categorized as green (easiest)–making this a great place for novice riders.  Also, with a water park and numerous lodges and cabins nearby, there are enough alternative activities and comforts to keep the entire family happy.  Tucked behind the newly constructed  Hatfield-McCoy Trails Visitor Center, Little Coal River is just 20 miles south of Charleston and serves as the first stop in the gateway to  Hatfield-McCoy country.

Even though many of the trails at Little Coal River would be considered easy by most enthusiasts’ standards, there are more difficult trails to test the merits of the more advanced riders.  Rounding out the rest of trail breakdowns are 30% blue trails (more difficult), 4% black (most difficult), and 6% orange (single track only).  Riders visiting the  Hatfield-McCoy Trails for the first time will quickly notice the trail mapping and marking system that has been designed to be easy to read and understand, as safety is a primary concern of the  Hatfield-McCoy Trails.  Visitors are also encouraged to be sure to check out the updated trail information that is posted at each of the trailhead/ranger stations.  Occasionally, a trail may be closed due to impassable terrain from fallen trees or soil erosion.

Since the inception of the  Hatfield-McCoy Trails, there has been an emphasis on expansion and growth, and Little Coal River is no exception.  According to Jeffrey Lusk, Executive Director of the  Hatfield-McCoy Trails, “Future plans for Little Coal River are to add more single track trails, and once our Lincoln County, which adjoins Boone County where Little Coal is located, trail system is built, we plan to link the two.”  Also, in the very early stages of development is a plan to implement a full-sized, 4wd park in Kanawha County which will include trails and obstacle courses.  So, with all of improvements in the works, it is worthwhile to stop back often.

To gain access on any of the  Hatfield-McCoy Trails, all riders are required to purchase a trail permit.  That means driver and rider in a side by side will be required to have the permit.  For 2009,  Hatfield-McCoy Trail permits are $26.50 (WV residents) and $50.00 (non-WV residents) and are good for all of 2009, allowing entry onto each of  Hatfield-McCoy’s Trail Systems.  That’s access to 500+ miles of trails!  This summer, do something a little different and take the whole family on an ATV adventure at Little Coal River. While there and wanting to tackle a little tougher journey with the guys, send the kids over to the Waterways water park with Mom, and trailer the quads over to Bearwallow or one of the other  Hatfield-McCoy Trail Systems–making it a weeklong adventure.  Your family will thank you!

Even though there are six separate trail systems that make up the Hatfield-McCoy Trails, don’t think that each one of them is the same.  Every Hatfield-McCoy Trail System has its own personality and offers something unique to ATV enthusiasts, so stay tuned to, as we continue our in-depth coverage of the individual trail systems that make up the  Hatfield-McCoy Trails!

For more information about the Little Coal River Trail System and the  Hatfield-McCoy Trails, visit

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