Water Trail

Welcome to Wild, Wonderful West Virginia!

The Coal River "Walhonde" Water Trail is an 88-mile long designated river trail for paddlers. The trail covers nearly the entire length of the Big, Little, and main Coal Rivers and features around 17 Department of Natural Resources boat launches for accessing the rivers.

The Coal River Water Trail is a unique and emerging new recreational asset for southern West Virginia. The trail follows the meandering channels of two beautiful rivers which join together at the Forks of the Coal to form the Coal River. The Coal becomes a much larger river that flows approximately 18 miles to St. Albans, where it joins the Kanawha River.

Be prepared to be amazed and exhilarated by the steep mountains, lush forests, and natural rock formations throughout the trail. Enjoy the experience of visiting areas that have had few tourists throughout the years, and get ready to learn about the legacy and impact of the area's coal industry on this region.

(Click here to download a copy of the map.)

About the Water Trail

Through work and coordinated efforts with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources and the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Coal River Group created the Coal River Walhonde Water Trail, a federally recognized water trail.

A "water trail," sometimes called a "blue trail," is a designated trail for paddlers of non-motorized boats on a navigable waterway, with well-marked and mapped access points and facilities and rest stops along the way. The Coal River Water Trail is the first federally designated water trail existing entirely within the state of West Virginia.

The Coal River Water Trail provides nearly 100 miles of scenic recreational paddling and attracts visitors from around the state and around the nation.

The Coal River Group is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the protecting, preserving, and promoting the Coal River watershed.

The Coal River Group • PO Box 363 • St. Albans, WV 25177 • coalrivergroup@gmail.com • 304-722-3055