Seeing the beauty of Pocahontas County on horseback is an incredible and memorable riding experience unmatched any place else!

Horseman will enjoy the high adventure of riding some of our 800 miles of trails while enjoying the wondrous nature of the surrounding area. You can easily find a special spot for a rest under a tree and your four-legged friend can drink from a nearby stream.

Here’s a list of some great horseback riding opportunities within each of the three districts in the Monongahela National Forest. Call and ask a Ranger if you have questions.

Gauley Ranger District
Box 110, Richwood, WV 26261

One area particularly well suited for horse back riding is the Cranberry River Ride which starts at FR 102 traversing the Cranberry Backcountry and following the scenic Cranberry River. The road is closed to public vehicles but opened to horses, bicycles, and hikers. It has a wide enough surface to pass easily and high clearance. Riding in the adjacent Cranberry Wilderness is not encouraged.

The Kennison Mountain Trail starts at FR 232 and loops onto FR 244, taking riders back to where they began. Another option is at the southern connection of FR 731 with FR 232. The eastern trail FR 232 or the western trail FR 731 are excellent rides as long as you return the same route. FR 78 is a connector to these two trails, but the going is very steep and is not recommended.

Greenbrier Ranger District
PO Box 67, Bartow, WV 24920

Horseback riding in this area covers a variety of terrain and roads. Surfaces vary from pine needles and leaves to gravel. Most of the routes are on roads or trails that are closed to motor vehicles; however, some exposure to traffic is unavoidable if you plan to make a loop.

The West Fork Trail is only a short distance from FR 44. If you decide to ride this Trail and Forest Service roads in the area, you may want to park your vehicle and trailer along FR 44. The Forest Service recommends parking near the southern half of the Trail near Wildell, May or Little River because these areas have wider parking and more camping sites than areas further north near Glady.

The upper Shavers Fork area south of US 250 between Cheat Mountain on the west and Shavers Mountain on the east has a fairly extensive system of roads.

Marlinton/White Sulphur Ranger District
PO Box 210, Marlinton, WV 24954

The Marlin Mountain area is located near Marlinton and can be entered from Highway 28, 39 or from the Marlinton Ranger Station. The area includes Forest Road 300 and 300A, which are gated roads. Marlinton Mountain and Marlin Mountain East Trails are short trails that link to these roads. The Allegheny Trail also traverses this mountain.

Middle Mountain Trail, 608, is a long distance trail that travels 18 miles from Rimel along Highway 92, south to the North Fork of Anthony Creek, near Neola. The trail begins as a narrow path that climbs Middle Mountain, then follows a wide grassy land along the ridge top. The descent to Anthony Creek is also a narrow path. The trail includes two stream crossings. It can be accessed from gated forest roads along Highway 92, FR 790, FR 875, and the Allegheny Trail.

Forest Road 345, along the Rimel area is a gated road that travels from Highway 39 to FR 55. FR 55 is open to motorized traffic but receives very light traffic. These roads form a loop with Highway 39 to create a 14 mile ride.

Stock users are urged to practice “Leave No Trace” (LNT) backcountry techniques to not only ensure quality experiences for others, but also to maintain the privilege of horseback riding in the Monongahela National Forest in the future.

Greenbrier River Trail: The popular 78-mile Greenbrier River Trail also hosts riders from all over the east coast. Riders should contact the trail administrator prior to making your trip by calling 304.799.4087.
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