Allegheny Trail Celebrates 50 Years in 2024


The Allegheny Trail, West Virginia’s longest hiking/biking trail, will celebrate it’s 50th anniversary later this year.  The Allegheny Trail is a 300 plus mile north-south trail that traverses the Allegheny Mountain ridges from the Mason-Dixon line at the Pennsylvania-West Virginia border to the West Virginia-Virginia border where it meets the Appalachian Trail on Peters Mountain.

Nicolle Flood-Sawczyszyn is the Outreach Coordinator for the West Virginia Scenic Trails Association, a non-profit organization tasked with maintaining the trail and co

ordinating with other organizations concerning recreation in the mountain state.

“The [Allegheny] Trail’s turning and we are having a huge celebration at the Green Bank Observatory September 6th, 7th, and 8th,” said Nicolle. “We’re going to have all kinds of workshops, we’ll be doing hiking; we’ll be doing contests, lots of good food, very much like the [Space Race] Rumpus, but with a little bit of a hiking trail flair to it.”

So what makes this trail so special?

“Well, first of all, we’re West Virgina’s longest hiking trail at 311 miles,” says Nicolle. “We go through three national forests, four WV state parks and we go through two WV state forests.  A really unique element is that you get a lot of single track.  You go through small towns, farmland, along rivers, as well as being high up on a ridge.  But one other component that makes this special is we abut the world-famous Applachian Trail down in Monroe County.”

The Allegheny Trail is designed to satisfy the needs of any hiker, whether you’re a newbie, or hard-core.

“There’s different hikers,” says Nicolle. “There’s the day hiker – maybe someone just wants to go out and spend a few hours birding, or taking the kids and the dog out; [you] certainly have access and opportunities for the trail for that type of hiker.  Then you have your aggressive day hiker who says ‘hey, I want to rip off 10 or more miles and get a work out in!’; great opportunities to trail head in and do that as well.”

Then there are those who are looking for a multi-day experience.

“Then you have your backpacker, who’s your overnighter [and] doesn’t want to come off the trail for a period of time.  For me, I maxed out at maybe four nights, and then have to come back to reality.  Then you have your through-hiker and that’s your high-end experienced hiker who says I’m gonna start over here at this southern or northern terminus and I’m not stopping until I get to the end of the 311 miles.”

And people from all around country come to do just that. We’ll talk more about in the second part of our interview with Nicolle.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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