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The Hatfield-McCoy Trail, dedicated to all-terrain vehicles and a variety of other users, traverses several counties in southern West Virginia. The plan is for 2,000 miles of recreational trails through the mountains of central Appalachia, starting in southern West Virginia and expanding into Kentucky and Virginia.

The Hatfield-McCoy Trail opened its first section in October 2000. As of 2012, seven sections encompassing more than 500 miles were open in Boone, Logan, Mingo, McDowell, Mercer, and Wyoming counties with additional trails under construction. The trails are open to off-road motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, mountain bikers, and hikers. More than 30,000 permits are now issued annually to trail users.

The Hatfield-McCoy Regional Recreation Authority was created by the legislature to manage the trail system. The authority was the result of efforts by the Hatfield-McCoy Trail Coalition, which was formed in 1990. Construction was delayed while organizers negotiated with coal companies and other large landowners to allow access to the hundreds of miles of unpaved logging and mine access roads that crisscross the mountains. The Recreation Authority provides insurance to limit landowners’ liability, controls and maintains the trails, and provides rangers to patrol them. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management provides consulting services to aid in the development of new trails and oversees quality control of existing trails.

The Hatfield-McCoy Trail is one of 16 trail systems in the United States designated as National Millennium Trails. It has received funding from the state and from the federal government. Most of the funding comes from legislative appropriations and revenue from the West Virginia Parkways Authority. Ultimately, the fees from trail users are expected to cover the costs of maintaining the Hatfield-McCoy Trail.

Last Revised on May 23, 2012

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Cite This Article

e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia "Hatfield-McCoy Trail." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 23 May 2012. Web. 17 October 2018.

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