The Remote Hike To Red Ash Island In West Virginia Winds Through An Old Growth Forest And An Abandoned Graveyard
West Virginia is known for a lot of things, but islands aren’t typically one of them. You may know of one or two West Virginia islands (river ones, of course). But did you know about the small coal-mining island in the New River Gorge? Red Ash Island lies abandoned in an old-growth forest near the Red Ash Mine along the Southside Trail between Thurmond and Cunard — most recommend starting the Southside Trail at the Brooklyn Boat Launch near Cunard — near Fayetteville. The story of this forgotten community is a classic West Virginia tale of beauty and tragedy that all began over 120 years ago.
Have you visited the Red Ash Mine ruins and Red Ash Island? Did you even know about this mining community and its story? For more information, visit the Red Ash Island National Park website page.
If you’d like to visit another mine and ghost town while you’re in the area, consider hiking to the Kaymoor One mine site.
For more interesting hikes in The Mountain State, check out this list of low-key trails with amazing payoffs!
Last but certainly not least, check out this video extolling the virtues of West Virginia!
More to Explore
Exploring West Virginia
Where can we find other abandoned places in West Virginia?
Believe it or not, abandoned places in West Virginia are numerous. They are a bit creepy, but interesting, nonetheless. So if you don’t think they would weird you out too much (or maybe they will and you don’t mind too much!) these abandoned sites are worth a visit:
- A church in Harpers Ferry
- The old Coalwood High School in Coalwood
- Railroad tracks in Nuttallburg
- The Old Cairo High School in Cairo
We're looking for scenic hikes in West Virginia.
It’s very easy to find scenic hikes in West Virginia because they are literally everywhere! All year round you can lace up your boots, grab some water, bring along a friend or two, and enjoy fantastic trails like these...each one offering simply amazing views:
- At Grand Vue State Park in Moundsville
- The Hanging Rock Raptor Observatory in Union
- The Cranny Crow Overlook at Lost River State Park
- The Long Point Trail in the New River Gorge
- The Ravens Rock Overlook in Cooper's Rock State Forest
Where can we find state parks in West Virginia?
There are some truly fantastic state parks in West Virginia that reveal so much about the state’s history, geologic evolution, the people who lived in those areas way back when, and so much more. Consider visiting some of these state parks for your upcoming explorations:
- Beech Fork State Park in Barboursville
- Audra State Park in Buckhannon
- Babcock State Park in Clifftop
- Beartown State Park in Hillsboro