Southern West Virginia is home to many notorious trails including the number one ranked trail in the National Parks system, the Endless Wall Trail in the New River Gorge. The stunning cliff lines, steep waterfalls, and heavily wooded single track trails all get the glory but are not always accessible to families limited to rolling with a stroller.
Strollers are a wonderful way to get active outside with your family. Whether you have a tiny infant that needs to be carried the duration of the hike, or toddlers and young primary kids who need periodic rests, a stroller provides. Children and adults with disabilities that use adaptive equipment and wheel chairs may also benefit from some of the same trails that strollers use.
One way to be sure you can use a stroller is to look for trails that are “Wheelchair Accessible”. These designated trails have been built or modified to accommodate wheelchairs and provide gentle inclines and ramps instead of or in addition to stairs. The National Park Service and State Parks are great places to find these trails and walking paths.
Not all strollers are created equal – they come in many shapes and sizes with a range of different abilities. An inexpensive umbrella stroller would be well suited for the Wheelchair Accessible trails, paved rail trails, and boardwalks. Trail strollers and some jogging strollers can handle slightly more challenging terrain that umbrella strollers and a majority of wheelchairs cannot handle. Trail strollers are pricey when purchased new at retail, but you can frequently find them at children’s consignments shops and online yard-sales. A quality stroller will add years to the fun you can have with your kids and open up many more opportunities for outdoor physical activity.
Active Southern West Virginia provides FREE Walking Groups in many communities in southern West Virginia that all are invited to attend. Many of the routes taken are stroller friendly, making them easier for families to attend together.
Active SWV also has a Trail Resource Page that is helpful for anyone looking to get out on their own. Here below we have compiled a list of top stroller-friendly trails in the four county area we serve.
Do you have stroller friendly trail in mind that you don’t see listed here? Send us an email at [email protected] to help us keep the info coming!
Fayette County Area:
8 miles total, very gentle and wide rail trail with a mostly paved surfaces suitable for all levels of walkers and strollers
Short paved walking loop with hills but suitable for all strollers, loop as many times as needed for physical activity
2.37 miles from trailhead down to Hawks Nest lake, wide and moderate trail featuring Mill Creek scenery and waterfalls
23.1 miles are planned for this low gradient crushed stone rail trail that follows along the scenic Meadow River
0.1 mile highly scenic and wheelchair accessible boardwalk
1.2 mile easy wooded loop suited for a trail stroller
1.2 mile moderate one way to a dramatic view of the New River Gorge bridge, trail is suited for a trail stroller, cliff awareness is essential
2.83 miles one way on a forest trail offering periodic winter views of the New River en route to the Brooklyn Coal Mine site
3.44 miles with a trailhead in both Minden and Thurmond, views of Thurmond on the New River and multiple creeks
6.39 miles of gentle wide rail trail grade offering remnants of history and coal mining towns
0.86 miles of relatively flat and easy wide trail walking with great views of the Hawks Nest Dam and impressive bouldering available
1.59 mile walk down an old historical road along Glade Creek, suitable for all strollers, use caution for occasional cars
Raleigh County Area:
4.1 miles, very gentle and wide rail trail with a mostly paved surfaces suitable for all levels of walkers and strollers
2.5 mile moderate loop that follows Laurel Creek at Little Beaver State Park, suitable for a trail stroller
0.07 mile easy gravel trail that culminates with a view of Sandstone Falls below
0.24 mile boardwalk suitable for all strollers with amazing views of Sandstone Falls
Easy walking around the 18 acre lake
Nicholas County Area:
Easy stroller opportunities around park including the 2 mile Patterson Trail, Gauley River overlook, and playground
1.8 mile loop around Summit Lake suitable for a trail stroller
Summers County Area:
Open areas to stroll near picnic and playground areas just below the the Hinton Dam
0.27 mile paved trail suitable for all strollers that terminates at the Long Branch Lake
Multiple short trails that can be combined for different length circuits near the Greenbrier River
Also See Raleigh County Sandstone Falls Areas Above