GREENBRIER RIVER TRAIL MILEPOST 69.6 PRIMITIVE CAMPING AREA, Clover Lick, WV
The Greenbrier River Trail is a converted C&O Railway that travels 80 miles from Cass Railroad Station, Stumptown, WV to North Caldwell, WV. This Rails-to-Trails is wonderfully maintained by WV State Parks and was featured in Backpacker Magazine as one of the top 10 hiking trails in the country. This former railbed would be considered flat by most, but there is a 1% downhill grade from the Northern Terminus in Stumptown to its Southern Terminus in North Caldwell.
There are plenty of these Primitive Camping Areas along the trail to make this a "must-do" trail. The trail is made primarily of the old Railway ballast and a finer pea gravel most of the trail…but there are some overgrown grassy two-track and some muddy sections as well. This is called "Wet Virginia" for good reason…pack a rain jacket.
The trail itself is recorded at differing lengths depending on what you read, but we started at MP 80…at Cass Railroad Station.
- Free camping (First come, first served)
- Newer Adirondock Style Shelter
- Newer Large/Clean/Stocked Pit Latrine
- Raised Tent pad (pea gravel)
- Cold well water - Hand pump
- Metal Fire Ring
- No Cell Service
- No Cell Service
- Cass Railroad Station
- Snowshoe Mountain Ski Resort
- Seneca Forest
- Seneca Rocks
- Spruce Knob (WV Highest Elevation)
- Green Bank Observatory
- The Greenbrier Resort
The Greenbrier River Trail is a delightful bikepacking excursion. Very doable for all ages. I'd recommend road bicycles with tires no narrower than 700x32 or mountain bikes. Because of the wetter climate, there were soggy sections that would cause difficulty for thin tires, especially when laden with panniers.
The MP 69.6 Camping Area is along the Greenbrier River, so camping along it affords great wildlife viewing at dawn and dusk when the animals head to the water to drink. The amount of wildlife we saw throughout the day was incredible while biking the trail. Mostly deer, rabbit, chipmunks and Eastern Box Turtles sharing the trail…but we did see a few turkey, fox and bobcat. An elderly fellow cyclist, sharing the camping area, saw a juvenile black bear. The Greenbrier River Trail travels through Watoga State Park, Seneca State Forest and the Monongahela National Forest
The Greenbrier River Trail is a mutli-use trail, so there is potential to see bicyclists, walkers, hikers, horseback and in the winter, XC skiers. Near towns we encountered very polite and pleasant walkers and cyclists enjoying the trail…but away from the towns it was very quiet, peaceful and remote.
NOTE: If you choose to ride the Greenbrier River Trail from Stumptown to North Caldwell or the opposite direction…unless you are going to ride back the way you came, you will need to have someone shuttle your vehicle. I used Chuck Workman, owner of Appalachian Sports in Marlinsburg to shuttle my vehicle to the Southern Terminus…Oscar from Cass Railroad Station shared that useful information!