Allegheny Highlands Trail

The Allegheny Highlands Trail, also simply known as AHT, is a trail that closely follows the West Virginia Central and the Pittsburg Railway. The 24.5 miles long trail begins near Elkins, West Virginia, a town with a populace of only 85. At downtown Elkins, take US Highway 219 northwards to get to the lowest head of the trail, Highland Park. Highland Park is across from the Division of Highways District 8 Headquarters. The places where it all begins, the multiple path heads such as Kerens and Porterwood, are located mid-trail, and they all have parking areas. Keep going towards US 219 north to the above trailhead, situated at the intersection of Main and 3rd Streets in Hendricks. Built in 1884, the Allegheny Highlands Trail brings a picturesque view of West Virginia’s scenery. Various, mountainous areas and country towns would be a cultural shock for someone who is from and is accustomed to city life. Plenty of small towns are scattered around the trail. The rural environment is a good place to look at animals, plants and geographic features.

     The trail moves downwards into a Tucker Country, small town of Parsons. Many restaurants are happy to serve its visitors. Geographical sites such as the Shavers Fork River have a beautiful view of nature. The trail is then paved near Black Fork River to the small community called Hendricks. Plenty of rest stops can be found here, but not many sources of water for travelers.

     There are blueprints to lengthen the Allegheny Highlands Trail north, which would increase this magnificent trail to 44 miles–an addition of a little over 20 miles. The railroad grade is not made as a part of the Allegheny Highlands Trail. It does, however, proceed along the gorgeous views of Blackwater River. One has to be very careful going towards this direction due to its sharp downwards slope.

     Be sure to pack enough water and snacks during this journey. West Virginia offers hikers, local or out-of-state, opportunities to enjoy the natural beauty the state proudly holds. This moderate level of hiking would be something family and friends can learn from and enjoy.