Take A Trip Back Through Time On West Virginia’s Iconic Coal Heritage Trail
Over 187 miles of rugged mountain terrain, scenic river valleys, quaint towns, and historic landmarks are tied together by a common legacy commemorated by the Coal Heritage Trail. Stretching from Bluefield in the south to Chimney Corner in the north, this trail, a National Scenic Byway, follows Highways 52 and 16 through many historic communities. Together, they tell the story of the West Virginia coalfields that powered eastern America and fueled its economic growth for decades, and the countless hard-working West Virginians who bore the brunt of the work to accomplish this feat. Here are a few of the historic sites along the route.
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Over the past few decades, political battles, environmental concerns, and competition from new forms of energy have left the coal industry in this region a shadow of the boom decades. Many of the mining communities have fallen upon hard times or disappeared altogether. Yet the Coal Heritage Trail serves as a reminder of a life lived by generations of Americans – a life that was hard yet honest, a life whose toils won prosperity for a nation. Travel the Coal Heritage Trail to re-live the trials and triumphs of the West Virginia coal miners.
For more information on these and the many other fascinating attractions along the trail, maps, and more pictures, visit the Coal Heritage Trail website.