Get this: there is an easy hike of less than one mile (a mostly nice and level mile, to boot) in the New River Gorge National Park that almost no one knows about … and it leads to one of the few historic African American churches still left standing in the region. What a hidden treasure! Here’s how you can find the old, abandoned First Baptist Church of Thurmond near Oak Hill, West Virginia for yourself.

Learn more about hiking the Church Loop Trail to the abandoned First Baptist Church of Thurmond, West Virginia via the Rend Trail, visit the National Park Service website. Interestingly, this uniquely historic church is just one of many sites of significance to Black history found in the New River Gorge area. Road trip, anyone?

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