One Tank Trip: Rail Explorers Elk River

CLAY, WV (WOAY)- West Virginia has a rich history of railroading from transporting lumber and coal. From Morgantown to Princeton, you can find railroads all across the state, though almost 40 railroads in West Virginia are abandoned.

One however is taking on new life in a unique way. The tourism company Rail Explorers has taken over the Buffalo Creek and Gauley River railroad.

“Rail Explorers has seven locations nationwide, each one is different from the next,” said Trey Corwell, Division Manager of Rail Explorers Elk River division. “With West Virginia getting out in Appalachia and the middle of the beautiful mountains, along the Buffalo Creek, they saw a beautiful landscape here that they wanted to be a part of.”

Guests take tandem rail bikes about 12 miles roundtrip down a stretch of rails. Guests can choose to ride in a two or four-person bike. These rail bikes are specifically made for an easy relaxing ride.

“They are motor-assisted bikes. So very similar to e-bikes, as the pedals move, the motor engages and helps to move the bike along the tracks,” explained Corwell.

On your ride, you can see an old train wreck, a waterfall on the WV waterfall trail, and high cliffs. In that six-mile stretch, there’s so much to see, but there’s more to it that makes it special.

“Our guests can’t get over the just sheer beauty of the untouched land, the size of the timber on the property, and it’s just the raw nature of it. It’s not something you find everywhere,” said Corwell. “I think that that’s really the true gem of West Virginia right now, is that tourism piece in the mountains and the landscapes that we have to offer.”

They currently run tours Thursday through Monday, during the late morning to late afternoon. You can visit or call 877-833-8588 to book tickets for this. Tickets for a two-person bike is $80 and $160 for a 4 person bike.

So, if you want to take a ride on one of West Virginia’s newest attractions, then head over to Clay County. Luckily for us, it only takes one take of gas to get here.

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