One Tank Trip: Kaymoor Miners Trail

The new river gorge is filled from top to bottom with a rich and deep history. An integral part of that history is coal mining, and these days there are only a few standing remains of what once was. But if you take a walk down the famous Kaymoor miners trail, your sights will be filled with the remnants of the gorge in a past life.

“Its one of our most popular trails here for two reasons, one because it is one of our most challenging trails, but also because it takes you down to one of the motst significant coal mining areas in the park,” Dave Bieri, NPS District Supervisor said.

With the boardwalk cramming eight hundred steps into less than a mile, it sure is a challenge, but the sights and the history make each step worth it.

“So there is still a lot at Kaymoor that you can still see, today in a lot of the other towns there is not much other than little foundations here and there,” Bieri said.

At the heart of the town, you see things like the entrance to the mine, different houses and buildings associated with the mine, where blasting caps were stored, the old tipple, and so much more.

Other than scenic views and deep history, the Kaymoor Miners Trail offers a fun physical challenge in a beautiful area.

“The whole thing is only a mile and a half from top to bottom, but it does descend from the top of the gorge all the way to the bottom,” Bieri said.

With the early spring and fall being the best time of the year to stop by, it is important to remember just why we preserve these towns, and why we visit them in the first place.

“We preserve these places to preserve the stories that they tell us and the history that is here, these structures are very tangible reminders of the days when people lived down here, and it wasn’t all that long ago. It’s not that far into our history but it will be there to tell that story for years in the future,” Bieri said.

Kaymoor’s story will likely never be forgotten. Opening its doors in 1900 and finally shutting down operations 62 years later, Kaymoor had a great reputation among coal mines. By paying fair wages and promoting safety, Kaymoor employed over eight hundred miners. And with the recent work being finished on the trail, the history is there for everyone to enjoy.

By combining a fun workout, rich history, and beautiful nature, filling up to visit this mining town is the best tank of gas you can buy.

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