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Warrior Path


The Warrior Path was one of the most important early north-south trails in eastern North America, extending from western New York to the Carolina Piedmont region by way of the Valley of Virginia. The trail passed through present West Virginia in the Eastern Panhandle, where it paralleled present Interstate 81. Several West Virginia Indian trails joined the Warrior Path in present southwest Virginia, south of the present state line. They included the Tug River Trail, the Bluestone Trail, and the Shawnee or Seneca Trail. The McCullough or Trader’s Trail crossed the Eastern Panhandle to join the Warrior Path near present Winchester.

The Warrior Path followed approximately the same route as the Chesapeake Branch of the Great Indian Warpath. The trail and its branches were used for interaction among such disparate groups as the Iroquois in the Northeast, Algonquian-speaking Powhatan groups in Virginia, and the Creek and Cherokee in the Southeast. This trail was also used extensively by early traders and hunters, and by the first permanent settlers into the region.

Written by Darla S. Spencer


  1. Rice, Otis K. The Allegheny Frontier: West Virginia Beginnings, 1730-1830. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1970.

  2. Myer, William E. Indian Trails of the Southeast. Washington: Bureau of American Ethnology, 1928.