BRAXTON COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – Got the itch to explore? A newly designated trail system in West Virginia is taking wild and wonderful to a new level and is just waiting on you to explore.

Work is quickly being exerted to make the Elk River Trail one of the longest rail trails east of the Mississippi River.

37 miles of trail are already open for your next exploration in our region, spanning from the Frametown area in Braxton County all the way to central Clay County, with expansions of the trail into northeastern Kanawha County, including the town of Clendenin, expected by Fall.

A very inviting and serene landscape awaits you on the Elk River Trail!

Dave Knight, a well-known voice of Clendenin and the owner of several small businesses says it’s about getting tourism into the region.

“Now we’re not gonna have a 1,000 move into Clendenin but we can get 10,000 to come visit,” remarks Knight, who is excited about the future of the Elk River Valley.

There are plenty of activities to take part of along the trail, including hiking, running, horseback riding, fishing, kayaking and more!

This area along the Elk River was ravaged by flooding five years ago, but Dave and others are tired of looking back at the past and are excited for the future of the area.

“What happened was sad but in a way it’s made us reinvent ourselves,”

Dave Knight, Clendenin business owner and resident

Knight believes tourism is a huge part of this region’s future to help boost its economy and believes the Elk River Trail will ‘pave’ the way for a resurgence of the river valley.

Check out nearly 40 miles of trail along the Elk River, with more opening up this fall!

“We’re (Clendenin) trying to become a little Fayetteville if you will and we want to become a little destination where you can hike, bike, kayak, spend the night at one of our unique Airbnbs”.

There is a plethora of additional information available on the Elk River Trail Foundation’s website.