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By: Tim Donaldson

Hatfield-McCoy Trails –Pinnacle Creek

Hatfield-McCoy Trails – Pinnacle Creek
(Part of’s Feature Coverage of the Hatfield-McCoy Trails)

My wife says that I’m full of useless information.  She mistakenly confuses so-called trivial facts as being mundane and boring.  Frankly, it doesn’t matter what she thinks.  By the way, I hope she’s not reading this.  But, don’t you think it’s possible that the marginal, inconsequential, and frivolous details are really what spices things up?  Few can deny the flavor-adding tastes gained from using a dash of salt or two.  Yet, salt alone is fairly uninteresting.  To me, it’s all about perspective and depends on your point-of-view.  So, at risk of begetting further judgment from my wife, here’s another piece of trivia.  The state flower of West Virginia is the rhododendron.

So what, you ask?  Well, being the heart of ATVing in West Virginia, the Hatfield-McCoy Trails are a source of state pride, and it is only fitting that one of the trails, Hatfield-McCoy’s Pinnacle Creek Trail System, features the blossoming rhododendron.  Lined with miles of this flowering plant, the trails at Pinnacle Creek are commonly considered the most scenic and breathtaking of the Hatfield-McCoy Trails.  After visiting Pinnacle Creek, I would have to agree.   Pinnacle Creek is the “spice” of the Hatfield-McCoy Trails, and I now know why they are referred to as Trails Heaven.

Visitors to Pinnacle Creek are greeted by all that nature has to offer – with majestic mountain views, trout-filled streams, colorful flora, deciduous and evergreen trees, and a plethora of wildlife.  Springtime brings a flower-scented aroma that fills the air.   Everything about the scenery is surreal, almost like something that would only be seen in the movies.  With turkeys, squirrels, and deer around almost every corner, Pinnacle Creek is a nature paradise.  Just watch out for those mating bucks during rut.  Those boys only have one thing on their mind!

Located near Pineville, West Virginia, the Pinnacle Creek Trail System claims approximately 70 miles of trails.  Trail breakdowns consist of 41% green (easiest), 43% blue (more difficult), 12% black (most difficult), and 3% orange (single-track only).  For the first time this year, Pinnacle Creek added 5 miles of extreme difficult trails for those seeking an extra challenge.  As with all of the Hatfield-McCoy Trails, trails at Pinnacle Creek are clearly marked and easy to follow.

The Castle Rock Trailhead/Ranger station serves as the primary point of entry onto the trails and is situated near Pineville with direct access to food, fuel, and lodging.  Another legal community connector, representing the easternmost point of trail, is the town of Mullens.  Situated near the historic, New River Gorge National Park, Pinnacle Creek offers vacationers the opportunity to do more than just ATV.  Adventure enthusiasts can couple their ATV excursions with rafting on the premier rapids of the east coast.

As we have trekked through the Hatfield-McCoy Trails (Little Coal River, Indian Ridge, Bearwallow, Buffalo Mountain, and now Pinnacle Creek), it is abundantly clear that this is a world-class trail system with something for everyone.  With 2009 quickly passing by, take time to enjoy the autumn splendor of West Virginia’s mountains at Pinnacle Creek and the Hatfield-McCoy Trails.  For 2009, Hatfield-McCoy Trail permits are $26.50 (WV residents) and $50 (non-WV residents) and are good for all of 2009.  Remember, Hatfield-McCoy Trail permits allow entry onto each of Hatfield-McCoy’s Trail Systems.

Stay tuned to, as we continue our in-depth coverage of the individual trail systems that make up the Hatfield-McCoy Trails.  Next, we will be covering our final destination, the Rockhouse Trail System–which we consider the granddaddy of them all and host of the 2009 Trail Fest.

For more information about the Pinnacle Creek Trail System and the Hatfield-McCoy Trails, visit

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