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Hatfield-McCoy Trail System Attracts Tourists, Boosts Economy

Southern West Virginia trail system — one of the world’s largest off-road vehicle trail systems — provides adventure-lovers a beautiful place to ride.

By Livability on October 28, 2022

Hatfield-McCoy Trail System in West Virginia
Courtesy of Hatfield-McCoy Trail System

Winding through the beautiful mountains of southern West Virginia, the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System offers a fun, off-the-beaten-path experience to visitors and an economic boost to the communities along the routes.

The Hatfield-McCoy Trail System is one of the world’s largest off-road vehicle trail systems. Open 365 days a year, the trail system is a four-season travel and tourism destination that connects ATV-friendly towns across the Southern coalfields. 

It consists of 10 trails across 14 counties and more than 1,000 miles of off-road adventure riding for ATVs, UTVs, ORVs and off-road motorcycles. The trails zigzag through stunning mountain landscapes with exciting elevation changes.

In 2021, the trail system saw its 21st consecutive year of growth, selling almost 95,000 permits, a 46% increase over the previous year and 68% more than in 2019. These visitors pump money into local economies as they buy gas, stay in hotels and cabins, and eat at local restaurants.

“Each year, we are just in awe of the trail system’s growing popularity and the way this area continues to expand with it,” says Jeffrey Lusk, Executive Director of the Hatfield-McCoy Regional Recreation Authority. “We are incredibly optimistic about what’s to come.”

Diana Barnette, a Logan County businesswoman and county commissioner, is also optimistic about the trail system and the economic opportunities created for cities and towns throughout the region. 

Barnette began investing in 2018 and developed Appalachian Outpost, a retreat with 25 rustic cabins with modern comforts and mountain views overlooking the Guyandotte River. An on-site restaurant with craft beer on tap makes it a relaxing experience after a day on the trails.

“The popularity of the trail system and the tourist dollars spent here have created a new sense of pride in our culture, our territory and our history,” Barnette says. 

“We believe in the potential promised by the development of the trails to diversify the economy of southern West Virginia,” she adds. “People are drawn to the breathtaking mountains, peacefulness and Southern hospitality.”

To learn more about the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System, visit trailsheaven.com. 

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