About This Park
Found among the Mid-Ohio Valley’s rolling hills, lakes and streams, North Bend State Park offers a multitude of recreational facilities in a beautiful pastoral setting. Named for the horseshoe curve of the North Fork of the Hughes River, this year-round park is lush with hiking trails and abundant wildlife. Located near Cairo and Harrisville, North Bend State Park is best known for the 72-mile North Bend Rail Trail, which follows a railbanked B&O Railroad corridor with several tunnels along the way.
Development of North Bend State Park began in 1951 when the state Legislature allotted funds to purchase land in Ritchie County. By 1954, the state had purchased 1,405 acres for the park. The park is located in West Virginia’s historic oil and gas fields. About 50 wells, dating from the 19th century, were once active in the present park area, and visitors may still see a few still standing around the park. As the park grew in popularity over the years, the lodge, campgrounds and recreational facilities were added to accommodate the growing number of visitors.
The North Bend Dining Room is open year-round for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but is currently closed due to renovations of the North Bend Lodge.
Access Trail to North Bend Rail Trail
This road bed provides access for hikers, bikers and horseback riders to the North Bend Rail Trail. Access Trail begins in the recreation area near Shelter #3 and ends at the rail trail. Featuring 11 tunnels and 32 bridges, the North Bend Rail Trail is 72 miles long with North Bend State Park situated at the midpoint. Parking is available.
Distance: 0.8 miles
Barton’s Lake Trail
This trail can be accessed from the Overlook Trail, Jughandle Day-Use Area and the Cokeley Recreation Area equestrian trail head. It winds through the woods with varying grades and follows along the lake.
Distance: 3 miles
Castle Rock Trail
This short spur is located to the left of the dam off the Lake Trail. It features a large rock formation known as the Castle Rock. The trail has a moderate uphill grade with a rocky surface and good sight lines.
Distance: 0.3 miles
Extra Mile Trail
This is a self-guided, paved interpretive trail equipped with braille and English interpretive signs. At the end of the trail is a small deck that sits back in the woods along an intermittent stream. From this trail, you may access the Overhanging Rock Trail and the Access Trail.
Distance: 0.3 miles
This trail can be used to access fishing along the lake shore. The trail begins by the Cokeley Recreation Area boat dock and runs along the lake shore to the Jughandle Day-Use Area.
Distance: 1.3 miles
Giant Pine Trail
This trail begins and ends across from the lodge. It is a beautiful hike through a white pine thicket offering views of birds, deer and other wildlife. It features moderate grades, smooth tread and changing sight lines.
Distance: 0.6-mile loop
Giant Tree Trail
This short, flat trail links the picnic area with the playground area. Large oak, beech and poplar trees may be seen. It features moderate grades, smooth tread and good sight lines.
Distance: 0.5 miles
Gibbons Nature Trail
This is a short backtrack trail dedicated to the late, natural foods advocate Euell Gibbons, who was featured at early Nature Wonder (Wildfoods) Weekends held annually at the park. The trail begins beside the pond and ends near the swimming pool parking lot. It features a gentle grade with rough tread and good sight lines.
Distance: 0.25 miles
Hibbs Cemetery Trail
This trail that begins in the pond area, follows the ridge to the Hibbs Family Cemetery and ends behind the lodge. It features a constant grade with changing tread and good sight lines.
Distance: 1 mile
This is one of the park’s longest trails. It begins and ends near the pond area, circling part of North Bend and its facilities. The trail goes through a variety of habitats and allows viewing of expansive fern beds, fungi and rocky outcrops. It features moderate to strenuous grades, along with changing tread conditions and sight lines.
Distance: 4-mile loop
Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Overhanging Rock Trail
This trail begins at the entrance to the recreation area and ends at the Extra Mile Trail. The main view is a large rock formation in a cool ravine. It features moderate to strenuous grades.
Distance: 0.5-mile loop
The trailhead is by the cabin supply building. Highlights include rock formations along the Hughes River and an overlook of the Hughes River Dam. It features moderate to strenuous grades with changing tread surfaces and sight lines.
Distance: 1.2-mile loop
Southern Railroad Trail
This trail follows the old Harrisville Southern Railroad Grade that previously went from Cornwallis to Harrisville and now connects River Run Campground to the base of the Hughes River Dam. In the spring, abundant wildflowers may be seen on this trail.
Distance: 1.5 miles
Tanker Run Spur Trail
Designed by mountain bikers, this trail provides a more rideable way out from the Nature Trail Loop. The grades change from moderate to flat, the tread is smooth single track and sight lines are good.
Distance: 0.8 mile
Ten Acre Trail
This trail was designed by mountain bikers to be ridden in a counterclockwise direction and features one big climb and one descent.
Distance: 3 miles
Union Ridge Connector Trail
This trail is a repurposed roadbed that connects the cabin area to Barton’s Lake Trail.
Distance: 0.2 miles
Water Edge Trail
This trail connects the Cokeley Recreation Area boat ramp to the canoe launch area. The trial follows the lake below Cokeley Campground.
Distance: 1.6 miles
Nature and Recreation
Get the most out of your time in this beautiful park with various events! A year-round nature and recreation program highlights the park’s natural and cultural history. Programs run daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day, but special programs or tours can be arranged for groups.
Picnic areas including picnic shelters are seasonal by nature. These areas close November 4 in 2019 and will reopen for use or rentals in mid-spring 2020.
North Bend Quest
Are you ready for a great adventure? Unique to North Bend State Park alone is the Quest program, an ala carte outdoor adventure, customized by you to meet your leisure time and interest. Build and package your quest by choosing from backcountry camping, canoe/kayaking, biking, backpacking, hiking, yoga, navigation, nature interpretation and other adventure activities at North Bend State Park.
For more information on the program, call Quest Leaders at 304-643-2931 or check out the program menu by clicking here.