Once a C&O rail line, the Greenbrier River Trail follows 78 miles of the longest free-flowing river in the East and winds through three counties rife with wildlife and scenic beauty.
With the river flowing north to south, the trail’s mellow one percent grade and numerous access points make it easy to pace yourself. A wide gravel-packed path, white “whistle post” mile markers, park benches and water stops are all trademarks of the trail.
The most southern section, the 33 miles in Greenbrier County, delivers laid-back hiking, biking, fishing and the consummate swimming hole or two. The trail begins just outside of Lewisburg. Within the first mile, a picnic area complete with creek and waterfall will entertain even the youngest of family members. Another half mile and the river routes around a flat-topped boulder -- a local hangout for sunbathing and a refreshing river dip.
The most scenic section begins at Beard (mile 31) just above the Droop Mountain Tunnel. Rapids and remote riverside campsites are ideal for overnight or full day excursions. Bring a fishing pole. The smallmouth and rock bass are known to thrive in these waters.
Just North of Renick and a mile off the trail, blueberry picking at the White Oak Blueberry Farm is worth its weight in fresh-from-the-bush-berries.
One mile south of the Anthony access is a wide, deep pool, perfect for swimming and fishing. For those who prefer to be on the move, bring an inner tube for a leisurely cruise on one of the nearby sections.
With shuttle services and rentals for both water and land, local outfitters can help make the most out of your experience:
Free Spirit Adventures- bike rentals, shuttles and tours on the Greenbrier River Trail
Greenbrier Outfitters - bike, kayak and SUP rentals and guided trips
Outdoor Adventures - Greenbrier River Trail shuttles
Safety note: This is a wild river. If you’re planning on getting wet, wear a PFD. And never, ever dive head first.
Maps of the River Trail:
NOTE: There is an impassible slide 4 miles north of the Caldwell (Lewisburg) access point.
RACES, RIDES AND WALKS
Those with a zest to be best can fire up their competitive side with one of Greenbrier County’s scheduled events – bike races to fun walks to game-face style canoe competitions in Alderson over the July 4th weekend. Athletic types will find walks and runs of all shapes and sizes or spin-to-win road rides from 18 to 113 miles.