Step into Spring: A Guide to the Hiking Trails of Brooke & Hancock County

Step into Spring: A Guide to the Hiking Trails of Brooke & Hancock County

Are your hiking boots waiting for that first big outing of the year? Plan yourself an adventurous hiking experience on some of the best trails in Brooke and Hancock County, West Virginia.

First up are the trails at Tomlinson Run State Park, the northern-most state park in West Virginia. This expansive park boasts 1,398 acres divided into two distinct sections, the wilderness area enchants visitors with its dense forests, overhanging cliffs of sandstone and shale, and a rich array of wildflowers and fauna, and a developed area with traditional park offerings. With six trails to choose from, ranging in difficulty and length, there’s options perfect for every level of outdoor enthusiast to explore within this natural haven! Make sure to give yourself time to venture the short distance down the Jody Hulka Trail and see the Almost Heaven Swing for a perfect picture on your adventure!

Tomlinson Run State Park – Photo by @roadtriptails on Instagram

Looking for a longer route? Traverse the Panhandle Trail, a historic rail trail that starts in WV’s Northern Panhandle and spans across into southern Pennsylvania. This 29-mile path occupies an abandoned railroad corridor formerly known as the Panhandle route. The trail offers a nice lengthy space for a leisurely walk, a hefty run, or a journey on your bike through picturesque landscapes, gently rolling hills, and charming towns. Whether you are traveling on foot or wheels, adventurers can immerse themselves in the region’s rich history and natural splendor along this converted corridor.

For a scenic hike alongside the Ohio River, the Brooke Pioneer Trail offers an ideal route. This paved, flat trail follows the river’s east bank for 18 miles from Wellsburg to the Brooke–Ohio County line at Short Creek. As part of the Wheeling Heritage Trail System, it seamlessly connects with trails in Ohio County, providing ample opportunities for walking or biking while soaking in the riverside views and tranquil surroundings.

Panhandle Trail

For a more leisurely stroll, the Wellsburg Yankee Trail presents an inviting option. This short, paved trail spans the length of the quaint city of Wellsburg, providing a convenient pathway for both locals and visitors to explore the city’s charming shops and historical landmarks. As it winds through Yankee Street and other low-traffic roads, walkers can enjoy a peaceful outing while admiring the local architecture of this riverside community.

From the enchanting wilderness of Tomlinson Run State Park to the historic pathways of the Panhandle Trail, each route unveils its own tale of natural splendor and cultural richness. Whether opting for a challenging trek amidst dense forests or a leisurely stroll along the serene banks of the Ohio River, the region’s diverse trail options cater to everyone’s craving for exploration. So lace up your hiking boots, embrace the outdoors, and seize the opportunity to immerse yourself in the boundless beauty of West Virginia’s Northern Panhandle.

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