Hatfield-McCoy Trail : July 4th Weekend, A Big One
Officials with the Hatfield-McCoy Trail in southern West Virginia anticipate a lot of ATV enthusiasts to use the three-day holiday weekend to do some trail riding.
“This will actually be a sell-out weekend for our lodging providers,“ said Hatfield-McCoy Trail Executive Director Jeff Lusk. “We’ll actually have somewhere between 3,000-5,000 people out on the trail this weekend.“
The trail system continues its growth both physically and in stature among the most popular trail riding destinations in the United States. Lusk says the Rockhouse Trail in the Gilbert area has emerged as the most popular. It’s the biggest trail and also affords the most lodging of any of the systems. However, it was also the trail that incurred the most damage from the spring floods that caused widespread damage in the town of Gilbert.
“We have about a 520-mile system and we lost over 200-miles the day after the flood,“ said Lusk. “We actually have all of that reopened, but it’s not all totally repaired.“
The biggest impact from the flood may not have been on the trail itself, but to the business owners who depend on the riders for revenue.
“A lot of our lodging providers who are in the town, some of their rooms were off line for several weeks,“ Lusk explained. “Because we’re basically booked solid during the season, those are visitor days we’ll never get back.“
Despite those setbacks the trail continues to expand—with the most recent development and emphasis placed on connecting the trails to the towns nearby. Lusk says that has been a monumental tool for improving the trail’s attraction, since no place else in the country is it possible to go from the motel parking lot to the gas station, to the trail, to the restaurant, and back to the hotel all without putting the four-wheeler back on the trailer or truck.
Although the Independence Day weekend is expected to be a huge one for the trail system, it’s not the peak of the year. Spring activities coupled with the fall foliage are the times that draw the most visitors to southern West Virginia to ride.