Mon River Trails Conservancy

Currently, 48 miles of the Mon River / Caperton / Deckers Creek Rail-Trails are open for non-motorized use, primarily walking, cycling, jogging, and cross-country skiing with a smooth, durable surface for wheel-chair use and all types of bicycles. In Morgantown and Star City, eight miles of trail are paved, allowing for in-line skating. The rail-trail connects three counties, Marion, Monongalia, and Preston Counties in North Central West Virginia.

The Caperton Trail has an urban feel with neighboring city parks, restaurants, and shops. The relatively flat Mon River Trail meanders along the wooded river valley with occasional bottomland and field habitats. The Deckers Creek Trail is more of a challenge as it climbs at approximately a 2% grade 1,000 feet over 19 miles with rhododendron and hemlock groves, deciduous forests, into more open fields and farmlands in Preston County.

The entire trail network is designated a National Recreation Trail.
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Great Times and High Spirits at the Deckers Creek Trail Half-Marathon!

A record 636 runners crossed the finish line at the 15th annual Deckers Creek Trail Half-Marathon on June 6, 2015. With perfect running day weather, the finish line was filled with those reaching their personal bests or completing their first half marathon.

This celebration of local rail-trails has brought state and national attention to the Mon River Trails Conservancy with its unique mostly downhill 13.1-mile course from Masontown to Morgantown. This year’s race attracted runners from twenty-five states and Washington D.C. Some participants came from as far away as Delaware, New Hamshire, New Jersey, Michigan, Colorado, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Wisconsin, Texas, and Utah and ranged in age from 13-72.

Eric Martin, from Parkersburg, WV was awarded first in the overall male division, crossing the finish line in 1:10:30. First place in the women’s overall and coming in second was Laura Harnish, from Pittsburgh, PA with a time of 1:17:56. The Deckers Creek Trail Half-Marathon is recognized as the fastest half-marathon in West Virginia. A complete list of race times and photographs can be found at

The Deckers Creek Trail Half-marathon celebrates National Trails Day, America’s largest celebration of trails and the outdoors, held each year on the first Saturday in June. All proceeds from the event help the Mon River Trails Conservancy manage and maintain the Mon River and Deckers Creek Trails. This year’s event raised over $20,000 for the rail-trails.

MRTC would like to thank the sponsors of the race:
West Virginia University Hospitals for the bus shuttle to the race start,
Morgantown Roadrunners for race support and advertising,
Greater Morgantown Convention and Visitors Bureau for advertising,
BOPARC for race support and kid’s activities,
Road 2 Dingle and WV Hitchers for foot stompin’ mountain music,
and Black Bear Burritos, ClifBar, Clutch Wing Shop, Classics 3, Fairfield Inn an Suites Marriott, Hampton Inn, Lebanese Bistro, Little Caesar’s, Mountain State Brewing Company, Panera Bread, Pizza Al’s II, Pepsi Bottling Company, Primanti Brother’s, Springhill Suites Marriott, Table 9, Tailpipes, Terra Café, Waterfront Place Hotel and Wings Ole for refreshments.

Additional funding was received from Dynamic Physical Therapy, Francis Enterprises, HealthWorks Rehab and Fitness, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Paula Hunt and Tim Warner, Mills Group, Morgantown Running, New South Media, Sign Factory, Wamsley Cycles, Waterfront Jeep, and WesBanco.

We also thank the many volunteers that provided race support at race packet pickup, start, along the course, at water stops, and at the finish line. Many thanks also to EMS, Morgantown Fire Department, city and county law enforcement for essential traffic control, cold-water sprays, and medical care. Your generosity and time made this a safe and successful event.

Thank you running community for your tremendous show of support for the rail-trails!
Van Voorhis Trailhead: Mon River Rail Trail Mile 4
Recreation Takes Claim: Turning Brownfields to Green

The Van Voorhis Trailhead (aka the former Quality Glass site) was previously used as a glass manufacturing facility. From 1987 to 2012, the site was contaminated with remnants derived from glass production and unsafe for adjacent neighbors and trail users near the site. In 2007, the Monongalia County Commission was awarded a $200,000 EPA Brownfields Cleanup grant for the site and in May of 2012, the brownfields remediation was completed. The Monongalia County Commission transferred ownership to the Town of Star City.

The Monogahela River Trails Conservancy received a Federal Highway Administration's Recreational Trails Program administered by the West Virginia Department of Transportation, Division of Highways to develop the site into a trailhead on the 29 mile Mon River Rail-Trail. This grant project was completed in the Spring of 2015 and now the site is a popular trailhead (near mile 4) with a large gravel parking lot, connecting path, trail map kiosk, and adjacent unplumbed “sweet-smelling” restroom for rail-trail users. It is located in one of the fastest growing residential areas of Monongalia County. Thank you HRG Engineering and AllStar Ecology, the project contractor, for the hard work in cold weather to get it ready for trail use seasons.

The future plans for the site include adding a non-motorized (kayak / canoe) boat access with a small take out concrete pad at the riverbank and gravel path to the parking area. The Upper Monongahela River Association (UMRA) is planning, designing and fund-raising for kayak/canoe boat access project.

The site is an example of multiple non-profits, city and county governments, and state and federal agencies working on returning this site to use as a valued recreation and alternative transportation asset for the region.

Division of Highways Recreational Trail Grant Program
Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust
Mylan Pharmaceuticals
River Town Program supported the Pennsylvania Environmental Council & Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation
CXT Inc. a L.B Foster Company
Members of the Mon River Trails Conservancy

Greenmont Bridge Funded

WVDOH Awards Grant for Deckers Creek Pedestrian Bridge

The West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) has awarded the City of Morgantown a grant that will allow residents in the South Park and Greenmont areas to more easily access the Deckers Creek Trail. The new pedestrian / bike bridge will be built on old bridge foundations. The City hopes that the project can begin in early 2015.

The site of the proposed project – the end of Kingwood Street - was once the site of a vehicular bridge that carried traffic over Deckers Creek. This bridge was demolished in the 1960s, and the abutments still remain. By repairing these abutments, the project saves money and reconnects the South Park and Greenmont Neighborhoods to the Deckers Creek Trail.

Morgantown is receiving $280,000 in federal funds, which will cover 80 percent of the $350,000 project. MRTC is partnering with the South Park and Greenmont Neighborhood Associations to further fund raise for this project. If you would like to donate to this project, please make a note on your check and specify Greenmont Bridge Project and send to MRTC at P.O. Box 282, Morgantown, WV 26501 or contact one of the neighborhood associations.

Your donations are always needed and get put to good use:

Annual Report
Our annual report for 2012 is now available online. Find out more about our current projects, mission, and goals. 2012 Annual Report
Your donations are always needed and get put to good use:
Masontown Elkins Coal and Coke Building Receives Federal and Local Funding for ReUse

MRTC was awarded $92,000 in federal funding from the WV Division of Highways (WVDOH) to transform the Elkins Coal & Coke Building, a 1907 industrial facility, into an information center and restroom facility for rail-trail and scenic by-way travelers. Located near mile 13 of the Deckers Creek Trail, it will be the first public restroom facility for the 19-mile rail-trail. For rail-trail users, the next closest facility is at mile 0 at Hazel Ruby McQuain Park in Morgantown.

MRTC is matching this funding with $23,000, the 20% local match that is required to make this project a reality. With the $115,000 total project cost, the 1907 Elkins Coal and Coke Building will be engineered and rehabbed as bathroom facilities and visitor information center for the Deckers Creek Trail and the Old Route 7 Scenic Byway.

The City of Masontown, in Preston County, owns the building and property and will maintain the facility once construction is complete. As a friend of the rail-trail, they have already rebuilt a bridge that connects the trail with the building and constructed a picnic weather shelter next to the trail. By 2016, the Masontown Trailhead will be transformed with great new amenities.

Your donations are always needed and get put to good use: