West Virginia is America’s spookiest state, with many haunted places. From decimated asylums to haunted burial grounds, West Virginia has no shortage of spooky places. But have you heard of the numerous hiking trails that lead you to haunted ruins? If not, it’s time you read up on West Virginia’s most nerve-wracking trails that lead you to ghost towns and abandoned mining tunnels.
Spooky ruins are scattered throughout West Virginia and are perfect for your Halloween season adventures. Here are the ten best hiking trails that will take you to haunting ruins. Be warned; spirit apparitions were reported here; act cautiously. Keep the Ouija boards at home to avoid spiritual bindings!
10/10 Jefferson Rock – Harper’s Ferry
If you hike up the scenic Appalachian Trail, you’ll find Jefferson Rock, named for President Thomas Jefferson. However, the hiking trail through Jefferson Rock is said to go paranormal when the sun goes down.
Some have reported seeing a spooky young woman in a white dress trying to hold your hand at night. Some hikers have also claimed to have seen unfriendly spirits pushing them down hills, dropping branches on their heads, or smashing flashlights. Head to this West Virginia hiking trail this Halloween if you don’t mind tumbling down a few hills.
9/10 Grave Creek Hill – Moundsville
This Native American burial ground was created by the Adena Native Americans who were buried here. The fascinating and frightening thing about this burial ground is that the graves are layered on top of each other. As a result, the burial mound is eerily high and visitors can climb to the top.
Ancient burial sites are associated with paranormal activity. Hike to this haunted place and climb to the top of Grave Creek Mound to perhaps encounter your own ghost sighting.
8/10 Royal Ghost Town – New River Gorge
While hiking the Glade Creek Trails, you might come across the spooky ruins of a ghost town once called Royal. The remains of crumbling stone walls were once part of this booming mining community. The Stretchers Neck Tunnel would allow miners to ship coal across the river to the neighboring town of Prince.
However, scores of people were killed in a bloody shootout between miners’ protesters and non-union workers. The mine officially closed in 1940 and the town’s fall came not long after. Strolling through the remains of this town, now deep in the forest, gives a chilling feeling.
7/10 Narrow Gauge Trail – Cliff
Located in Babcock State Park, this trail leads to the spooky ruins of a spooky railroad. Follow the path down to Old Sewell Road and you’ll see remnants of the long-forgotten railway. You may even come across the remains of the ghost town of Sewell at this West Virginia state park.
The Narrow Gauge Trail lets you feel the presence of the past, and some have even claimed to hear the rumble of a train that doesn’t actually exist. Take a night hike on this haunted trail and we’re sure you’ll come out a paranormal believer.
6/10 Dark button – Parsons
Located in the woods of Parsons, West Virginia, Darkish Knob is a steep hill notorious for being haunted. The area was believed to have been used extensively during the Underground Railroad years. At the bottom of the steep hill was a safe home for runaway slaves. One night a young girl was riding her horse and was reportedly looking for this house. However, the horse lost its footing and the girl was thrown off the hill and fell to her death. Now many have claimed to have seen her ghost at Darkish Knob.
5/10 Clay Running Paths – Bruceton Mills
This haunting trail is located in Coopers Rock State Forest. If you hike this trail you will find the old 19th Century Henry Clay Iron Furnace. This massive blast furnace was used to produce iron for the surrounding towns. Now it is withered and covered by the surrounding greenery. While the Clay Run trails are not known to be ghost sightings, it definitely gives off a spooky vibe that’s hard to shake.
4/10 Nuttallburg Trails – New River Gorge
Although the ruins of this abandoned coal town are slowly sinking into the forest, bits of it can still be seen in the nearby woods and along the trails, and many of the mining areas remain intact. Despite its decay, the remains of Nuttallburg still move visitors. From the massive drop that rises above the forests to the long conveyor belt that rushes down the mountain and up the other side, this trail takes you to a plethora of mine ruins that are both amazing and eerie.
3/10 Kaymoor Miners Trail – Fayetteville
Another ghost town, this former mining town, also has an abandoned coal mine. Although terrifying, we strongly recommend that you do not attempt to enter the abandoned coal mines for your safety. Is it haunted? You have to find out for yourself. Wander down this trail at night and try to convince yourself that ghosts from beyond do not linger in this West Virginia ghost town. We’re sure you won’t even be able to complete the entire route without escaping to safety.
2/10 Elk River Trail – Elkview
Although it is believed that the infamous Mothman was originally sighted at Pleasant Point, some are said to have experienced the cryptid on the Elk River Trail. The Mothman is a winged monster with glowing red eyes that, according to urban legend, haunted the farms of Point Pleasant, West Virginia.
On the Elk River Trail, Kenneth Duncan was reportedly digging a grave for his father-in-law with four other men on November 12, 1966, when he witnessed a human-like figure fly out of the nearby forest and fly overhead.
1/10 North Bend Rail Trail – Cairo
Well, the scariest trail of all is the North Bend Rail Trail. Entering the trail’s spooky Tunnel 19 is freezing even during the day, yet some brave ghost hunters have wandered in at night. Ghost stories have been told of a woman in white haunting the tunnel and even appearing on train tracks to scare the conductors.
Meanwhile, some have said human remains were found at a nearby home on the North Bend Rail Trail. If you’re feeling brave, hike down this trail at night and you might witness some paranormal activity yourself.