Pipestem Resort State Park

In the Wild: Bluestone Turnpike is remote, scenic river trail in southern West Virginia

October 31, 2011, 12:44 pm

Springtime on Bluestone National Scenic RiverThe Bluestone Turnpike is one of the best-kept secrets in West Virginia.

The 10-mile trail follows the Bluestone National Scenic River in a 1,000-foot-deep gorge between Pipestem Resort State Park and Bluestone State Park in southern Almost Heaven.

The two main points to access the riverside trail are at the southern terminus at Pipestem State Park near Pipestem and at the northern terminus at Bluestone State Park near Hinton.

There is also a dirt road where the hamlet of Lilly once stood, where the Little Bluestone River meets the main stem of the river in the heart of the gorge.

At Pipestem, you can, in season, ride an aerial tram down to the Bluestone River from the park’s Canyon Rim Center. Or you can descend via the River Trail that begins at the McKeever Lodge. It is 5.25 miles on the orange-blazed trail and requires wading across the river. The River and the Farley Loop trails intersect with the Bluestone Turnpike.

You can enjoy a little luxury by staying in the Mountain Creek Lodge at the bottom of the gorge in Pipestem.

At Bluestone, the Bluestone Turnpike Trail begins behind a gate at the end of the road that leads to the Meadow Campground.

Read more at ohio.com.

Image: Springtime on Bluestone National Scenic River. Source: NPS.gov.