By: CJ Rena Johnson
Little Coal River
Visitor Center: The Pulse of the Hatfield-McCoy
Trail Authority Tour on the Trail
Tour Line-Up Ready for the Ride
Jeffrey Luck and participants
Some of the Media Coverage of Trail
Participants of the Trail Authority Ride
Participants of all ages enjoyed the
Trail Authority Ride
The Little Coal River Visitor Center was
completed in 2008 and officially opened its
doors in December. It was a great holiday
present to everyone involved. It has everything
you could want in a visitor center: friendly
people, gifts, maps, brochures, a complete line
Hatfield-McCoy Trails merchandise, local
history, cultural information, snacks, drinks,
nearby accommodation rental information,
Hatfield-McCoy trail use permits, and more.
The Goal of the Visitor Center
Their goal is to “serve as the gateway for trail
visitors into the Hatfield-McCoy Trail Country.”
They accomplish this with great success.
Where they are Located
The Visitor Center is located very conveniently
on U.S. State Route 119 about 20 minutes south
of Charleston, WV. It is a gorgeous log building
on a beautiful piece of property. You can’t miss
it as you go down the road. They have a two-plus
acre parking lot with direct access to the
Hatfield-McCoy Trail system on the road adjacent
to the Visitor Center.
This road is a two-mile ATV friendly loop that
goes all the way from the highway at the Visitor
Center around the loop to
Kathryn’s Kabins and
Big Earl’s Campground in one direction, passing
by the parking lot mentioned above and the
Waterways Trailhead entrance. If you take the
road fork by the Visitor Center in the other
direction, it will take you to the Little Coal
This loop runs along a river that is so clear
you can see fish swimming along with the current
at almost any time of the day. There are several
great places for a picnic in between rides. You
might also want to go for a swim to rinse off
some of the trail dirt. There are several
perfect spots for this, too!
Awesome Trail System
The Waterways Trailhead leads you onto the
Little Coal River Trail System. This trail
system is one of the very best that West
Virginia has to offer. For some great
information about the Little Coal River Trail
System, please go to
Private Tour with the Hatfield-McCoy Trail
I was fortunate enough to be invited on a
private tour with the Hatfield-McCoy Trail
Authority where I learned a lot about the
history of the trail systems and how they have
affected the surrounding areas.
The Executive Director,
Jeffrey Lusk, is very
knowledgeable and explained everything to us in
a way that made us feel like we were a part of
the Hatfield-McCoy Heritage.
Some of What We Learned
The Hatfield-McCoy Trail System was created by
the West Virginia Legislature. They wanted this
endeavor to promote tourism in nine of West
Virginia’s southern counties in order to
generate more economic growth and development.
It has done just that in all these counties. The
Trail System and the growth of this area are
There are currently six complete trail systems
with over 500 miles of trails between them.
These trails are always evolving as weather and
trail conditions change, so they never get old.
You will always find something new and exciting
each time you ride these trails.
The Hatfield-McCoy Trails are open 365 days a
year and have something for everyone. No matter
what your skill level or riding ability, style
or preference, you will find the perfect trail
system for you and your group.
Something for Everyone
Bring your whole family. There is something of
interest for everyone it seems. The trails are
open to ATVs, dirt bikes, side-x-sides, mountain
bikes, horses, and hikers.
There is also a Water Park right next door that
is a great place for those family members not
into the whole off-road adventure. Water Ways
Water Park has water slides, a lazy river to
picnic next to, a Jr. size Olympic pool, two
kiddy pools, waterfalls, swings, and slides. It
also has a great greenway, an 18-hole miniature
golf area, a go-kart track and picnic shelters
with grills. For more information about this
park, please go to
Visit the Visitor’s Center
If you are new to the whole Hatfield-McCoy
experience or are an old hand at it, be sure to
check out the Little Coal River Visitor Center
on your next visit! They have information on all
the different trail systems, and the people that
run the Visitor Center are some of the nicest
folks I have ever met. They are very informative
and friendly and always seem glad to see you.
They truly demonstrate a huge part of what makes
West Virginia so charming.
For more information, please check out their
or give them a call at 304-369-9342.
As always: Decide now to have an awesome day!