About This Park
Covering 5,200 acres in southeastern West Virginia, Greenbrier State Forest delivers secluded natural beauty with a wide range of recreational options like fishing, swimming, hiking and mountain biking. The forest is just a stone’s throw away from the charming and historic towns of White Sulphur Springs and Lewisburg, so visitors can enjoy a day of solitude communing with nature, then venture out for shopping, dining and the arts. With cabins and camping, Greenbrier State Forest is also an ideal base camp for bicyclists on the neighboring Greenbrier River Trail.
This 5,133-acre forest was purchased by the State of West Virginia from the White Sulphur Springs Park Association in 1938. That same year, the Civilian Conservation Corps established Camp White Sulphur, in the area that presently houses the Forest headquarters and swimming pool. The forest, which stands divided by 3,280-foot high Kate’s Mountain, is rich in Native American history dating back to the 1700’s.
Black Bear Trail
Starting points are three-tenths of a mile from the cabin area at an intersection with Old Roads Trail and one-fifth of a mile from the main forest road on Young’s Nature Trail. The trail passes through two hollows with a gentle climb in elevation. This trail can be combined with Old Roads Trail to make a longer hike.
Distance: 2 miles (one way)
Following an old logging road for its entire length, this trail begins at the top of Kate’s Mountain near Rocky Ridge Trail. After skirting the eastern side of Kate’s Mountain, it ends on Kate’s Mountain Road, south of Young’s Nature Trail.
Distance: 2.3 miles (one way)
Kate’s Mountain Loop Trail
A loop that combines the Rocky Ridge, Holsapple, Young Nature and the Mabel Dowdy trails, as well as the western service road. Adventurers with the backpacker spirit will enjoy the variety this loop offers. Nevertheless, you may want to pack a lunch for this walk.
Distance: 7.8 miles
Mabel Dowdy Nature Trail
This trail, named after a retired park employee, begins and ends in the cabin area. A nice after-dinner trail, it visits a variety of plant and animal habitat including a mixed deciduous hardwood forest, a hemlock forest, a mountain stream habitat and an open meadow. This trail has a few gentle climbs.
Distance: 1.3 miles
Old Field Loop Trail
Walking time 1 hour. This loop trail, which is bisected by Old Fields Trail, begins and ends in the Shelter #2 parking area. Designed with mountain bikers in mind, this trail meanders through the woods above the picnic area.
Distance: 2 miles (one way)
Old Roads Trail
This is a self-guided nature trail with trail heads across the road from the entrance to the cabin area and in the service area near the forest office. The trail follows an old logging road for most of its length, except where it crosses a ridge.
Distance: 1.6 miles (one way)
Rocky Ridge Trail
Starting at a point one-quarter mile from the service area where it intersects with Old Roads Trail, the trail winds its way to the top of Kate’s Mountain, three-tenths of a mile from the overlook. This is a strenuous walk and recommended for those in good health.
Distance: 2.1 miles (one way)
Walking time 45 minutes. This trail begins across the road from the entrance to Shelter II area. This “figure-eight” trail was destroyed in the derecho of 2011. It was rebuilt in 2014 as a combination trail for walkers and beginning mountain bikers.
Distance: .6 mile (loop)
Young’s Nature Trail
Starting one-tenth of a mile north of the picnic area at the main forest road, this trail climbs gradually from the hollow and then follows a steep ridge line to the trailhead on Kate’s Mountain Road.
Distance: 1.7 miles (one way)
The "Holler" Trail
Walking time ½ hour. Starting at two-tenth of a mile from the main forest road on Old Roads Trail and ending at one-tenth of a mile from the main forest road on Young’s Nature Trail. This trail provides mountain bikers and hikers with a whimsical, flowing trail that meanders through a deep hollow along the base of Kate’s Mountain.
Distance: 1.2 miles (one way)
Twin Pines Trail
Walking time 45 minutes. Starting at the main forest road just north of the picnic area and ending one-tenth of a mile from the main forest road on Old Roads Trail. This trail parallels the forest road and serves as a hiking/biking connector path to the picnic area.
Distance: 0.6 miles (one way)
Old Field Trail
Walking time 1 hour. Beginning in the field just south of the campground, this trail meanders through forest and old fields along an old logging road before it ends two-tenths of a mile from the main forest road on Young’s Nature Trail.
Distance: 1 1/2 miles (one way).