The American Discovery Trail (ADT)

(Photo Courtesy of @atravelingspirit924)

The American Discovery Trail (ADT) is a cross-country trail system using existing trails and routes to connect the Cape Henlopen State Park, in Delaware, to the Pt. Reyes National Seashore, in California. This 6,800-mile trail takes hikers through sixteen states, featuring scenic views of small towns, cool forests, rolling hills, and warm deserts. The American Discovery Trail sets itself apart from other trails by being the first coast-to-coast, non-motorized trail, with a goal to become completely off-road. 

The Streby to Nestorville and Nestorville to Wilsonburg sections of the American Discovery Trail pass through the southern counties of Mountaineer Country, intersecting with Tygart Lake State Park, the International Mother’s Day Shrine in Grafton, and wrapping up in Clarksburg, WV. 

American Discovery Trail through West Virginia

West Virginia is one of four states that make up the eastern portion of the American Discovery Trail. Roughly 288 miles of the trail pass through central West Virginia, consisting of four major sections:

  • Maryland State Line to Streby (59.5 miles): Starting in Oldtown, MD, hikers will cross the north branch of the Potomac River into Green Spring, WV. The trail itself will follow a valley within the Appalachian Mountain range, heading southwest toward the Monongahela National Forest.
  • Streby to Nestorville (69.7 miles): Hikers should prepare for a climb. With 3,500 to 4,000 feet, this potion of the ADT is the highest in elevation east of the Rocky’s. The trail will take hikers through Dolly Sods Wilderness Area, Canaan Valley, Blackwater Falls before heading through westward Moatsville, WV, toward Tygart Lake State Park. Access to the Allegheny Trail can be found at Blackwater Falls in Davis, WV. 
  • Nestorville to Wilsonburg (84 miles): Continuing westward, hikers will pass through the cities of Clarksburg, WV and Bridgeport, WV. Both cities are known for their rich heritage and history during the American Civil War. 
  • Wilsonburg to Ohio State Line. (75 Miles): Complete the final stretch of West Virginia’s portion of the American Discovery Trail by heading west towards Parkersburg, WV. This section of the trail takes hikers along the North Bend Rail-Trail through 10 tunnels and 37 trestle bridges.

Learn more about the American Discovery Trail in West Virginia by visiting the official website

Grafton, West Virginia 

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