Devil Anse Trail opens today

J.D. Charles - Contributing Writer

MATEWAN, W.Va. — The new, long awaited Devil Anse Trail will be open for riders beginning today, May 25.

This new system, which will link the Buffalo Mountain trail system to the Rockhouse Trail system, will give Hatfield McCoy riders a total of 300 miles of exciting and scenic riding in the historic Mingo County region of Southern West Virginia

The Matewan Town Council will have a ribbon cutting to honor this newest addition to tourism in our region at 9 a.m. Saturday morning, May 28. Proposed entertainment and other activities are scheduled for later that afternoon, weather permitting.

HMT will offer free t-Shirts of a new design to the first 300 riders who obtain a card at one of the trailheads and have that card stamped at Devil Anse Trailhead, Buffalo Mountain Trailhead and Rockhouse Trailhead between Friday and Monday.

The Devil Anse Trail system, originally known as the Matewan Trail during initial planning stages, will add 70 miles to the tally for riders in that region. It was designed to connect trails in Mingo County together, and is located near Historic Matewan West Virginia. The new system has been years in the planning and was built in stages. As each stage was completed it was opened to the public, and it has been one of the most talked about additions to the world famous Hatfield McCoy Trails, since it was announced.

William Anderson “Devil Anse” Hatfield was the famed patriarch of the Hatfield Clan, which became part of American History when a feud sprang up between Hatfield’s family and the family of Kentucky’s Randall “Ole Ran’ll” McCoy in the aftermath of the American Civil War. The feud went on for many years with much adventure, violence and even romance between the famed families. In his lifetime Devil Anse was a timber operator, bear hunter, school administrator and leading businessman in the region. His likeness carved in Italian marble stands guard over his grave at the family cemetery along Route 44 in Logan County West Virginia and has become a landmark drawing tourists to the area.

The Hatfield McCoy Trails has become one of the premier tourism destinations in the state, as well as an engine of economic development for communities in Southern West Virginia, offering over 500 miles of maintained trails for riders of ATVs, UTVs and dirtbikes for trail-riding enthusiasts from all fifty states and several foreign countries.

The original concept of the Hatfield McCoy Trails was that by building and maintaining a world-class motorized trail system in Southern West Virginia, it would draw visitors to the mountains so that local residents in those communities could invest in their own businesses such as hotels, motels, lodges, restaurants and campground to take advantage of this opportunity to become a part of the growing tourism industry in the Mountain State.

Maps of the new Devil Anse Trail system will be online by Wednesday and available at trailheads.

J.D. Charles

Contributing Writer


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