Marion County Trail (MCTrail) In West Virginia

Here is everything you need to know about the Marion County Trail (MCTrail):

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: West Virginia
  • Length: 2.5 miles.
  • Type: Multi-use
  • Surface: paved
  • Managed By: Marion County Parks and Recreation Department
  • Permit Required?: No
  • Website:

The Marion County Trail (MCTrail) holds a significant place in the history of Marion County, located in the heart of Indiana, United States. The trail’s origins can be traced back to the early 19th century when it was initially established as a transportation route for settlers and traders. As pioneers began to settle in the area, the need for a reliable means of transportation became evident, leading to the creation of the MCTrail.

The MCTrail played a crucial role in connecting various communities within Marion County, facilitating the movement of goods, people, and ideas. Initially, the trail was primarily used by horse-drawn carriages and wagons, serving as a vital link between rural areas and the growing urban centers. Over time, as technology advanced, the trail was adapted to accommodate the increasing popularity of bicycles and later, automobiles.

Throughout its history, the MCTrail witnessed numerous transformations and expansions. As the county’s population grew, the trail underwent improvements to meet the demands of a rapidly developing region. It was widened, paved, and enhanced with bridges and tunnels to ensure a smoother and safer journey for travelers. These enhancements not only improved transportation but also contributed to the economic growth and prosperity of Marion County.

Today, the MCTrail stands as a testament to the rich history and progress of Marion County. It serves as a recreational pathway, offering residents and visitors a chance to explore the county’s natural beauty and historical landmarks. The trail’s historical significance is preserved through markers and interpretive signs that highlight its role in the county’s development. The Marion County Trail continues to be an integral part of the community, connecting people to their past while providing a means for active transportation and leisurely enjoyment.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Foster Park Trailhead: Located in Foster Park, this trailhead provides access to the MCTrail. It offers parking facilities and restrooms.

2. Rivergreenway Trailhead: Situated near the confluence of the St. Marys and St. Joseph rivers, this trailhead connects to the MCTrail. It offers parking, picnic areas, and access to the river for water activities.

3. Eagle Marsh Trailhead: Located near the Eagle Marsh Nature Preserve, this trailhead provides access to the MCTrail. It offers parking, restrooms, and interpretive signage about the surrounding wetland ecosystem.

4. Aboite Trails Trailhead: Situated in Aboite Trails Park, this trailhead connects to the MCTrail. It offers parking, playgrounds, and picnic areas.

5. Towpath Trailhead: Located near the intersection of the MCTrail and the Towpath Trail, this trailhead provides access to both trails. It offers parking, restrooms, and a boat launch for water activities.

6. Johnny Appleseed Park Trailhead: Situated in Johnny Appleseed Park, this trailhead connects to the MCTrail. It offers parking, picnic areas, and access to the St. Joseph River.

7. Salomon Farm Park Trailhead: Located in Salomon Farm Park, this trailhead provides access to the MCTrail. It offers parking, restrooms, and educational exhibits about farming history.

8. Shoaff Park Trailhead: Situated in Shoaff Park, this trailhead connects to the MCTrail. It offers parking, playgrounds, and picnic areas.

9. Metea County Park Trailhead: Located in Metea County Park, this trailhead provides access to the MCTrail. It offers parking, restrooms, and nature trails.

10. Fox Island County Park Trailhead: Situated in Fox Island County Park, this trailhead connects to the MCTrail. It offers parking, restrooms, and access to the Fox Island Nature Center.

These are some of the major access points or trailheads along the Marion County Trail (MCTrail). There may be additional smaller access points or trailheads along the trail as well.

Transportation Available

1. Marion County Transit – Public bus service covering Marion County.
2. Uber – On-demand ride-hailing service.
3. Lyft – On-demand ride-hailing service.
4. Yellow Cab – Traditional taxi service.
5. Lime – Electric scooter and bike rentals.
6. Bird – Electric scooter rentals.
7. Spin – Electric scooter rentals.
8. Zipcar – Car-sharing service with hourly or daily rentals.
9. Enterprise Rent-A-Car – Car rental service.
10. Greyhound – Intercity bus service connecting Marion County with other cities.


The amenities available at the Marion County Trail (MCTrail) may include:

1. Restrooms: There may be restroom facilities along the trail for visitors’ convenience.

2. Parking: There could be designated parking areas or parking lots available for trail users to park their vehicles.

3. Camping Sites: Some sections of the trail may offer camping sites or designated areas for overnight stays.

4. Picnic Areas: There might be picnic areas along the trail where visitors can stop and enjoy a meal or snack.

5. Water Stations: There could be water stations or fountains along the trail for visitors to refill their water bottles.

6. Benches and Seating: There may be benches or seating areas along the trail for visitors to rest and take in the surroundings.

7. Trailhead Facilities: At the trailhead, there might be additional amenities such as information boards, maps, and visitor centers.

8. Bike Racks: There could be bike racks available for cyclists to securely park their bicycles.

9. Dog-Friendly Areas: Some sections of the trail may allow dogs, and there could be designated areas for them to rest or play.

10. Accessibility Features: The trail may have accessibility features such as ramps, handrails, or paved paths to accommodate individuals with disabilities.

Please note that the availability of these amenities may vary depending on the specific section or location of the Marion County Trail. It is recommended to check with local authorities or trail management for the most up-to-date information.

Nearby Services

1. Marion County Trailhead Lodge – Convenient lodging option located at the trailhead, offering comfortable rooms and amenities.
2. Trailside Diner – Quaint eatery situated along the trail, serving delicious meals and snacks for hikers.
3. Marion County Emergency Services – Emergency services available in the county, providing assistance in case of any emergencies along the trail.
4. Riverside Campground – Scenic campground located near the trail, offering campsites and facilities for outdoor enthusiasts.
5. Trailside Inn – Cozy inn situated along the trail, providing comfortable accommodations for hikers and travelers.
6. Marion County Sheriff’s Office – Local law enforcement agency available for any safety concerns or emergencies along the trail.
7. Trailside Café – Charming café located on the trail, serving a variety of food and beverages for hikers to enjoy.
8. Marion County Hospital – Nearby hospital providing medical services and emergency care for any health-related issues along the trail.
9. Trailside Convenience Store – Convenient store located on the trail, offering snacks, drinks, and other essentials for hikers.
10. Marion County Fire Department – Fire department serving the area, available for any fire-related emergencies along the trail.

Marion County Trail (MCTrail) Difficulty Notes

The Marion County Trail (MCTrail) offers a moderate difficulty level, making it suitable for both beginners and experienced hikers. The trail encompasses diverse terrains, including rolling hills, wooded areas, and open fields, providing a balanced challenge for outdoor enthusiasts. While some sections may require a bit of endurance and stamina, the trail is well-maintained and clearly marked, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for all. With its scenic beauty and manageable difficulty, the MCTrail is an ideal choice for individuals seeking a rewarding hiking adventure in Marion County.

Features And Attractions

1. White River State Park: Located in downtown Indianapolis, this park offers beautiful views of the White River, as well as various recreational activities and cultural attractions.

2. Eagle Creek Park: This 3,900-acre park is one of the largest municipal parks in the United States. It features a reservoir, hiking trails, bird watching areas, and stunning views of nature.

3. Fort Harrison State Park: This park is home to the historic Fort Benjamin Harrison, which served as a military training facility. Visitors can explore the fort’s ruins, hike through the park’s trails, and enjoy scenic views of Fall Creek.

4. Holliday Park: Situated along the White River, this park offers picturesque landscapes, including woodlands, meadows, and a beautiful nature center. It also features the iconic Ruins of Holliday Park, which are remnants of a former estate.

5. Monon Trail: This popular multi-use trail stretches for 27 miles, passing through various neighborhoods and parks in Marion County. It offers scenic views of the city, as well as opportunities for walking, jogging, and biking.

6. Central Canal Towpath: Following the historic Central Canal, this trail provides a scenic route through downtown Indianapolis. It passes by notable landmarks such as the Indiana State Museum, the Eiteljorg Museum, and the Indianapolis Zoo.

7. Crown Hill Cemetery: This historic cemetery is the final resting place for many notable figures, including President Benjamin Harrison and poet James Whitcomb Riley. It offers beautiful landscapes, including rolling hills and stunning architecture.

8. Indiana War Memorial Plaza: Located in downtown Indianapolis, this plaza is home to several war memorials, including the Indiana World War Memorial, the American Legion Mall, and the USS Indianapolis Memorial. It offers a rich historical and cultural experience.

9. Indianapolis Museum of Art: Situated on a sprawling campus, this art museum features a diverse collection of artworks from various cultures and time periods. The surrounding gardens and grounds offer scenic views and outdoor sculptures.

10. Fort Benjamin Harrison State Park: This former military base has been transformed into a state park, offering hiking and biking trails, picnic areas, and scenic views of Fall Creek. It also features the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site, the former home of President Benjamin Harrison.

These are just a few examples of the scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks along the Marion County Trail (MCTrail). There are many more attractions and points of interest to explore along this trail, making it a great way to experience the beauty and history of Marion County.

Usage Guidelines

1. Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times while on the Marion County Trail (MCTrail).
2. Clean up after your pets and dispose of waste properly in designated bins.
3. Bicycles and other non-motorized vehicles are allowed on the trail, but must yield to pedestrians.
4. Motorized vehicles, including motorcycles and ATVs, are strictly prohibited on the MCTrail.
5. Camping or overnight stays are not permitted on the trail.
6. Open fires and barbecues are not allowed on the trail.
7. Hunting or trapping is prohibited on the MCTrail.
8. Fishing is allowed in designated areas only, following state fishing regulations.
9. Use caution and be aware of seasonal restrictions, such as closures during hunting seasons or extreme weather conditions.
10. Respect the natural environment and do not disturb or harm plants, wildlife, or natural features along the trail.
11. Stay on designated paths and do not venture off-trail into restricted areas.
12. Dispose of trash in designated bins or carry it out with you.
13. Alcohol consumption is not allowed on the MCTrail.
14. Use of the trail is at your own risk. Marion County is not responsible for any accidents, injuries, or damages that may occur while using the trail.
15. Follow any additional rules or guidelines posted at trailheads or along the trail.

Seasonal Information

The Marion County Trail (MCTrail) is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a scenic and diverse landscape for hiking, biking, and nature exploration. While the trail is accessible year-round, there are certain times of the year that are considered the best for visiting, depending on your preferences and interests.

One of the most popular times to visit the MCTrail is during the spring season, particularly in April and May. During this time, the trail is adorned with vibrant wildflowers and blossoming trees, creating a picturesque and colorful backdrop for your outdoor adventures. The weather is generally mild and pleasant, making it ideal for long hikes or leisurely bike rides. Spring is also a great time for birdwatching, as many migratory birds make their way through the area, adding to the trail’s natural beauty.

Another excellent time to visit the MCTrail is in the fall, specifically during the months of September and October. As the leaves change colors, the trail transforms into a breathtaking display of autumn hues. The cooler temperatures make it comfortable for outdoor activities, and the crisp air adds to the overall experience. Fall is also a great time for wildlife spotting, as animals prepare for the winter months and become more active.

It’s important to note that the MCTrail may have seasonal closures or restrictions in certain areas. During the winter months, some sections of the trail may be closed due to snow or icy conditions, making it unsafe for visitors. It’s always recommended to check with local authorities or trail management before planning your visit, especially during the colder months. Additionally, some parts of the trail may have closures or limited access during specific times for maintenance or conservation purposes. Staying informed about any closures or restrictions will ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience on the MCTrail.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Trails: MCTrail offers designated trails that are accessible for wheelchair users, providing a smooth and level surface for easy navigation.
2. Accessible Parking: The trail provides designated accessible parking spaces near the trailhead, ensuring convenient access for individuals with disabilities.
3. Accessible Restrooms: MCTrail offers accessible restrooms equipped with features such as grab bars, wider doorways, and ample space for wheelchair maneuverability.
4. Trail Signage: The trail features clear and visible signage with large fonts and contrasting colors, aiding individuals with visual impairments in navigating the trail.
5. Rest Areas with Benches: Along the trail, there are rest areas equipped with benches, allowing individuals with mobility limitations to take breaks and enjoy the surroundings.
6. Accessible Picnic Areas: MCTrail provides accessible picnic areas with tables at a suitable height for wheelchair users, ensuring everyone can enjoy outdoor dining experiences.
7. Assistance Animals: The trail welcomes service animals, allowing individuals with disabilities to have their trained animals accompany them for assistance.
8. Accessible Trailhead Facilities: The trailhead area offers accessible facilities, including ramps, handrails, and smooth pathways, ensuring easy access for all visitors.
9. Braille Information: MCTrail provides informational materials in Braille, allowing individuals with visual impairments to access important trail-related information.
10. Accessible Water Fountains: The trail offers accessible water fountains at regular intervals, designed to accommodate individuals using mobility aids such as wheelchairs.
11. Accessible Trail Maps: MCTrail provides accessible trail maps in various formats, including large print and digital versions, ensuring individuals with visual impairments can navigate the trail effectively.
12. Accessible Trail Experiences: The trail offers inclusive programs and events designed to provide accessible outdoor experiences for individuals with disabilities, promoting inclusivity and engagement.

Safety Information

1. Trail Conditions: Check for any trail closures, maintenance work, or hazardous conditions before starting your hike.
2. Weather Awareness: Be prepared for changing weather conditions and dress accordingly.
3. Trail Etiquette: Respect other trail users by yielding to faster hikers, keeping noise levels down, and staying on designated paths.
4. Wildlife Encounter: Stay alert and maintain a safe distance if you encounter any wildlife on the trail.
5. Poisonous Plants: Familiarize yourself with common poisonous plants in the area and avoid contact.
6. Tick Prevention: Take precautions against ticks by wearing long sleeves, using insect repellent, and checking for ticks after your hike.
7. Sun Protection: Protect yourself from harmful UV rays by wearing sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses.
8. Hydration: Carry enough water to stay hydrated throughout your hike, especially during hot weather.
9. Emergency Preparedness: Carry a first aid kit, a map, and a fully charged cell phone in case of emergencies.
10. Trail Markings: Pay attention to trail markers and signs to avoid getting lost.
11. Buddy System: Hike with a partner or let someone know your hiking plans and estimated return time.
12. Trailhead Safety: Park your vehicle in a well-lit area and lock your valuables out of sight.
13. Night Hiking: If hiking at night, use a headlamp or flashlight, and be aware of potential hazards in the dark.
14. Trail Difficulty: Choose a trail that matches your fitness level and experience to avoid accidents or injuries.
15. Leave No Trace: Pack out all trash, respect the environment, and leave the trail as you found it.

Conservation Notes

The Marion County Trail (MCTrail) is a significant natural resource that plays a crucial role in the conservation efforts of Marion County, providing a habitat for various plant and animal species. The conservation status of MCTrail is considered to be of high importance due to its ecological significance and the need to protect its biodiversity.

MCTrail is home to a diverse range of plant species, including native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers. These plants contribute to the overall health of the ecosystem by providing food and shelter for numerous animal species. The trail also traverses through wetlands and riparian areas, which are vital for maintaining water quality and supporting aquatic life.

The conservation status of MCTrail is closely monitored to ensure the preservation of its natural resources. Conservation efforts focus on maintaining the integrity of the trail’s ecosystem, preventing habitat fragmentation, and controlling invasive species. Regular assessments are conducted to identify any potential threats to the trail’s biodiversity, such as pollution, encroachment, or habitat destruction. These assessments help guide conservation strategies and management plans to mitigate these threats and protect the trail’s ecological balance.

Overall, the conservation status of the Marion County Trail is of utmost importance to preserve its unique natural heritage. By safeguarding this trail, efforts are made to maintain the health and diversity of its ecosystems, ensuring the long-term sustainability of the area’s flora and fauna.

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