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Hatfield-McCoy Trail celebrates its 13th year in Mercer County

By Greg Jordan, Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BRAMWELL, W.Va. — Thirteen years ago, a new form of outdoor tourism came to Mercer County and started bringing visitors and their dollars to the county and large swaths of southern West Virginia.

Local officials and members of the media took a ride Thursday along the Pocahontas Trail, Mercer County’s branch of the Hatfield-McCoy Trail. The Pocahontas Trail extends for 70 miles through forests leading to scenic overlooks and other sights such as artifacts from the region’s coal mining heritage. It also offers routes ranging from easy to extreme for ATVs, UTVs and dirt biker enthusiasts.

Jamie Null, executive director of the Mercer County Convention & Visitors Bureau, welcomed guests at the Pocahontas Trailhead off Route 52 in Coaldale, a community a few miles from the town of Bramwell, and spoke about the Pocahontas Trail’s economic impact. In 2023, the Hatfield-McCoy Trails system sold 92,000 ridership permits.

“It’s been 13 years since this trail was opened in Mercer County, and we couldn’t be more excited to celebrate 13-years-worth of riding in the mountains of West Virginia,” Null said at the trailhead.

“We’ve seen huge growth in ATV tourism,” she said.” We’ve seen a lot of entrepreneurs coming and opening up lodging to cater to these visitors and we’ve also seen the demographics of the riders change. We’ve seen more families coming now – extended families that come as a group and they bring children along, so it’s turned into a family vacation on the Hatfield-McCoy Trail.”

The county’s ATV economy is expected to keep growing.

“I see continued growth,” Null said. “The outdoors industry in West Virginia is certainly important and I believe Hatfield-McCoy Trails plays a positive role in that.”

Mercer County’s tourism industry has become a significant employer.

Read more: https://www.bdtonline.com/news/hatfield-mccoy-trail-celebrates-its-13th-year-in-mercer-county/article_a5783d2e-13b8-11ef-8a2a-af27557a95c1.html

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