The North Bend Rail Trail's 72-mile length follows the right-of-way of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. This section of the railroad line was originally built by the Northwestern Virginia Railroad. The line was built between 1851 and 1857. When the line was finished it was sold to the B&O Railroad.
This B&O track was a major supply line for the Union Forces during the Civil War. The tunnels on the line had a wooden structure inside of them. The Southern Army made numerous raids on this section of the B&O, burning tunnels and tearing up tracks.
After the Civil War the tunnels' wooden interiors were replaced with brick, and stone or brick was applied to the exterior ends. Many of the tunnels you pass through on the North Bend Rail Trail have the dates the new tunnels were reconstructed at the top of the entrance to the tunnel.
The B&O Railroad was sold to CSX which decommissioned this section of the trail in 1988. The tracks were removed.
The North Bend Rails to Trails Foundation was formed at this time. The Foundation purchased 72 miles of right of way. The trail is part of North Bend State Park. The park is the controlling body for the trail. The Foundation is a fundraiser and advocate for North Bend Rail Trail.
For a more complete history and photos of the B & O Line see here.
Welcome to the official site of the North Bend Rails To Trails Foundation Inc. We are a nonprofit organization whose primary objective is to support, promote and provide for the improvement of the Trail. The Board of Directors of the Foundation is made up citizens from the four counties the North Bend Rail Trail runs through. Those counties are Wood, Ritchie, Doddridge, and Harrison Counties.
The North Bend Rail Trail is a multiuse recreational trail operated by the West Virginia State Park system. The 72 mile trail was formerly the main line of the B&O (later CSX) railway. The NBRT covers 72 miles from near I-77 outside Parkersburg WV in Wood County to Wolf Summit WV in Harrison County. It is part of the 5,500 mile coast-to-coast American Discovery Trail. The NBRT passes through 10 tunnels and crosses 38 bridges. Easily accessible from north/south interstates 77 and 79, the trail roughly parallels US Route 50 east and west.
Although there are many trails that are paved, the North Bend Rail Trail remains just as it was intended to be: a crushed-limestone trail. This gives users a unique hike, bicycle outing or horseback ride in the great outdoors. No motorized vehicles are allowed on the trail. Areas in some towns are blacktopped, but once you get out of town, you experience the country path much as it was when the steam engines roared through.
So come out and enjoy the tunnels, countryside and small towns along the North Bend Rail Trail!
P.O. BOX 206
CAIRO WV 26337