Spring is here and the temperatures are on a steady rise. Now is a perfect time to start planning your next outdoor family adventure and #optoutside. Are you looking for a way to spend time outdoors? Then look no further. No need to go hours away to find beautiful landscapes and a good time. Right in your backyard is a hidden gem called Tomlinson Run State Park. This park has everything to offer, from a swimming pool to mini golf, boat rentals, camping, volleyball, hiking trails and so much more. If you are looking for a fairly easy family hike, then this post is for you. We will be highlighting the beautiful Laurel Trail to White Oaks Trail in the wilderness section of the park totaling about 5 miles roundtrip.
Located a few short minutes off of Rt. 2 in New Manchester, WV, this beautiful park is easy to access. Start your drive on Rt. 2. If headed north from Weirton, then you will make a right onto Rt 8 (Veterans Blvd). If coming from Chester, then you will make a left. Follow Rt. 8 for a few miles until you reach the park. Make a left into the park and follow the main road past the lake until you come to a T in the road with Washington Rd. Make a right onto Washington Rd. and drive up and around the bend. Once you come out of the sharp curve in the road, you will see a little parking patch on the right side of the road. Here you will see some trail markers. Cross the road from where you parked and look for the trail marker that says “Laurel Trail”. Laurel Trail eventually runs into “White Oaks Trail” and continues straight. The combination of these two trails make for a wonderful hike. You will begin your journey climbing up to the ridge that will overlook Tomlinson Run. Laurel Trail follows Tomlinson Run. On this trail you will have many wonderful views of Tomlinson Run looking down into the water below from high a top the cliff. As you follow Laurel Trail, you will eventually come to White oaks trail. Continue straight on this trail for a while longer and you will eventually come off of the hill and down to parallel Tomlinson Run. As you continue on, you will be walking right next to the water. Towards the end of White Oaks Trail, many rocks and boulders along the creek bed will greet you. Here you will find numerous places you can settle down and enjoy a packed lunch. To finish your hike, turn around and follow the same path you took to get there. Some great highlights of this hike are: fairly easy terrain and elevation gain, wonderful scenery with the water below and the rolling hills surrounding you, cliffs and rock formations, and friendly wildlife. This is a wonderful hike to experience in your backyard. Be sure to pack water, snacks for the hike, and a lunch to enjoy at the end of the trail. This is a beautiful place that will be sure not to disappoint. Enjoy your time at The Top!