Fayetteville-Kaymoor Loop

Description: This is a pretty moderate 8.4 to 12 mile circuit in the New River Gorge National River. While itís not a wilderness trek it does provide one with a mix of pleasant woods walking, spectacular views and a chance to study some industrial history at all that remains of an old mining operation at Kaymoor. The trails are mostly well-groomed and smooth with the exception of a 0.5 mile RR grade near the end of the trek. The Kaymoor Minerís Tr is very steep and will be a challenge if doing the short route in reverse. If you are in good shape and really have an interest in history there is a set of 800 steps that lead to the coke ovens and remains of the town of Kaymoor. I havenít been down there. Just remember if you walk down there is no escalator to bring you back up!

 

Signage is a problem. There is none in the Town Park area where the hike begins and ends. In other places they have been pulled up.

In a couple of other places the signs are a bit misleading. Make sure you bring this map and a good sense of direction with you and youíll be OK. The longest route includes 4 miles of forest road walking, the first two of which might be boring Ö unless youíre into wildflowers and doing the hike in the spring or summer!

 

Google Custom Directions

 

Note: Turn right immediately after the park onto a gravel road. Trailhead is at its end.

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Printable/Downloadable Map

 

Printable/Downloadable Map

View 3-D Map

Zipped National Geographic. TOPO! GPS and Universal GPX Files

GPS Text File for Non-TOPO! Users

 

Trail Notes: The trails of the Town Park Loop are new and

have yet to be signed. Also be aware that there is a short connector shown on this map that is not shown on the park handout map. None of the trails on this route are blazed but are quite obvious. From the kiosk proceed along the Town Park Trail. Soon arrive at a fork in the trail and bear right. You will find yourself following an old fence behind the cemetery. An old trail follows the fence for a bit but you will bear left onto a well-worn trail.

 

In about 0.48 miles from the first fork arrive at a trail junction straight and to the right. There is a square hole in the ground where a sign noting the Fayette Tr used to be. Turn right here onto Fayetteville Tr and switchback down to Wolf Creek, passing a false trail on the left just before the bridge. There is a nice swimming hole downstream from the bridge. Cross the bridge and climb a slight hill.

 

In 0.7 miles from the last trail junction arrive at the junction of Timber Ridge Tr on the right. Make a sharp left turn to stay on Fayetteville Tr.

 

In another 0.87 miles arrive at a 4X intersection with Long Point Tr. (If you need to shorten the hike you can bypass this but the views of the New River Gorge Bridge and the Gorge itself are outstanding. If this is your choice, stay straight on Fayetteville Tr and soon arrive at Kaymoor Top.) Turn left onto Long Point Tr. In 0.24 miles pass a concrete post with a trail to the right. This is Butcher Branch Tr. (You will use this later.) Walk another 0.83 miles out to Long Point and enjoy the views.

 

Return to the concrete post and turn left onto Butcher Branch Tr. In about 0.2 miles you will come to a 3X intersection with a cryptic sign for 2 directions. One segment leads downhill to a popular rock climbing area. Continue straight up the hill to get to Kaymoor Top. At the trailís end enter a USPS parking lot. Fayetteville Tr comes in from the right at the same trailhead.

 

Continue along Kaymoor One road checking out the remains of the Kaymoor Haulage as you go. This was a means of transporting workers and citizens down the hill. You probably passed some of the old cable used by it along the Butcher Branch Tr. If you opt to complete the short route turn left and descend on the Kaymoor Minerís Trail.

 

If you are completing the entire loop continue along Kaymoor One Rd. It will soon make a right turn. Continue straight walking past a forest gate. This is the beginning of the Cunard-Kaymoor Tr, a popular mountain biker route to Cunard. On my trip I only ran into 4 bikers and they were very courteous. Its entire length is a gravel forest road which is maintained to allow motorized access to the mines by Park workers.

 

In 2.38 miles the Cunard portion of the trail bears right. You want to turn left here. The descent before this plunges the road quickly through some huge rock outcroppings, Hemlocks and Rhododendron. From the beginning of the descent to the Mine the road walking is a bit less boring but still quite easy. You should make good time through this segment. In 1.72 miles from the Cunard junction arrive at the Kaymoor Mine. Take in the history. Itís hard to imagine grown men working in a shaft only 3 feet tall let alone the damp, dark conditions. There is a set of steps to the right. Iíve been told there are 800 of them by a recent visitor. They lead to the old coke ovens and the remains of the old town. Remember the note in the hike description before descending.

 

From the mine north the forest road is maintained as a trail and not as a road and is simply called the Kaymoor Tr. Youíll pass yet more ruins before arriving at a partial view of the bridge below Long Point. The trail makes a hard left turn here to follow the Wolf Creek Drainage. Pass a waterfall with a man-made trough before crossing the creek on a steel and wood bridge. Notice the old foundations of previous bridges. In 2 miles from leaving the mine, arrive at the Rt82 trailhead.

 

Turn left up Rt82 for a few yards before turning left onto the unsigned beginning of the Fayetteville Tr. It sharply jogs left toward the creek and then right again onto an old woods road. Climb steadily for 0.55 miles passing under some utility cables. Arrive at a short set of steps. Over your right shoulder youíll find the New River Gorge Bridge. Climb the steps. To the right is the New River Bridge Tr that leads back out to Rt82. (The section of road between Its trailhead south to US 19 is 2-way. The rest of Rt82 is one way coming from the east.) Turn left here.

 

I suspect that the next 0.44 miles is an old RR grade or trolley line given its slope and the large amount of small, loose rock scattered along its length. As you climb keep an eye out for a footpath on the left. The old RR grade will continue to climb up to Park Dr. but you want to turn left onto the footpath.

 

Quickly descend and climb a gully. Soon reach an unmarked junction. The left is the continuation of Fayetteville Tr. The right is a recently added link not shown on the park map. Turn right here. Soon pass another trail on the left. There will also be a scratchy trail on the right. Ignore it also. Soon arrive at the first fork in the hike. Turn right here and retrace your initial steps back to your car.

Downloadable/Printable Directions and Trail Notes

Critique This Outing

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Outing Critiques

Name: Peter Fleszar                                                                                                              Hike: Fayetteville-Kaymoor Loop
Date: 5-18-2012                                                                                                                     Rating: 4

Critique: I followed the directions from the site pretty well - however I skipped the Long Point view and went directly to Kaymoor Top then to Kaymoor Bottom and back up to the mine. Most signs are back up now except for the last two turns onto and off of the connector trail from the Fayetteville Trail to the park loop. Also the NRGNR web site has a trail guide with a more up to date map now and if you stop by the visitor center you can get it printed with Uncle's ink instead of yours. The guide says there are 821 steps from Kaymoor Mine to Kaymoor Bottom, I counted 837 including intermediate steps on landings. My mind's eye pictured the steps from the description as the ones the miners years ago would have used, like the Thousand Steps on PA's Standing Stone Trail, but these steps are a Park Service construction over top of the old "haulage" or steeply inclined cable railway. On the bottom it was a nice change vs. other sites to still see a lot of metal items, a negative was
the trails below the steps are dim traces around (justifiably) fenced off areas with just enough poison-ivy to make things interesting. Leaf-off time would be better to explore the bottom. There had been some rain recently so I enjoyed the various cascades beside the old roadbeds on the return trip.

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