Canaan Valley Institute Trail System

The 6.5 mile trail offers a safe and easily accessible option for users from the adjacent town of Davis, WV, for short hikes, dog-walking, bird watching, berry picking and bicycling. The trail system has been used as part of the West Virginia State Mountain Bike Championship Race course, and will be connected to the Heart of the Highlands Trail system.

photo: Climbing out of Canaan; Photo by Outdoornut.

Length: 6.50 miles
Loop Trail? Yes
Type: Backcountry, Mountain Bike Trail, Nature Trail, Snow Trail
Agency: Nonprofit
Entry Fee? No
Parking Fee? No

Allowed Uses:

Bicycling (off pavement)
Dogs - Off leash
Dogs - On leash
Equestrian - Riding
Pedestrian - Walking/Hiking/Running
Snow - Cross-country Skiing
Wildlife Observation

See more details.

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Location: Davis, WV
State(s): West Virginia
Counties: Tucker
Longitude: -79.42957
Latitude: 39.14573

Driving Directions

Just E of Davis along Camp 70 Rd.


Since work began on the Canaan Valley Institute (CVI) Trail System in 2005, trails have evolved from a 4-mile discontinuous collection of highly eroded and unsustainable paths to a 6.5-mile system of maintained, multiuse trails.

Sustainable trail building techniques endorsed by the USDA-Forest Service, Appalachian Mountain Club, and the International Mountain Bicycling Association have been utilized to develop new trails and to reclaim and connect severely degraded sections. The Trail System has been strategically planned and constructed to allow eventual connections to adjacent landholder properties including Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, public lands within the Monongahela National Forest, private Vandalia Heritage Foundation properties, and to the regionally significant Heart of the Highlands Trail, and Allegheny Highlands Trail. Planning, construction, and maintenance work has largely been accomplished by volunteer labor using recycled and donated materials, on-site building materials, and other resources. This has allowed construction and improvements to be completed at approximately 50% less than the original cost estimated per mile.

Local businesses and trail advocate groups have been part of the planning process and have promoted and encouraged the use of the trail for competitive trail events and by the visiting public from the surrounding area and other geographic regions of the country. Additionally, the trail offers a safe and easily accessible option for users from the adjacent town of Davis, WV, for short hikes, dog-walking, and bicycling, encouraging the overall health of the community. Notable and beneficial partnerships have also formed with the educational community. Several field trips have been conducted by local school classes on the system. A local alternative school has volunteered 1,000 hours in two years to build or repair the trails.

Trails have also been planned to provide exposure to fragile high-elevation wetlands, streams, meadows, and upland forest without causing damage to these features. Certain trail sections use an old wagon road which passes near an historic farm site, both built around 1900 and associated with the logging history of the area.

Additional routes and improvements are planned for the future that encourages connectivity, community involvement, and appropriate utilization of the trail's natural, cultural, and historic assets.

Additional Details

Width: 18 inches.
Primary Surface: Soil
Secondary Surface: Boardwalk
Crushed Rock
Grass or Vegetation
Rock, boulders
Soil, compacted

Average Grade: 5%
Maximum Grade: 10%
Elevation Low Point: 3,100
Elevation High Point: 3,200
Elevation Gain (cumulative): Not Available

Year Designated:

Contact Information

For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.

Trail Management:
Ken Dzaack
Canaan Valley Institute
PO Box 673
Davis , WV 26260
(304) 463-4739



Climbing out of Canaan; Photo by Outdoornut.

Climbing out of Canaan; Photo by Outdoornut.


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