Mon River / Caperton / Deckers Creek Trails In West Virginia

Here is everything you need to know about the Mon River / Caperton / Deckers Creek Trails:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: West Virginia
  • Length: 48 miles.
  • Type: Multi-use.
  • Surface: paved
  • Managed By: Mon River Trails Conservancy
  • Permit Required?: No.
  • Website: Info not available.

The Monongahela River, often referred to as the Mon River, has played a significant role in the history of West Virginia. The river stretches approximately 130 miles and has been a vital transportation route for centuries. The Mon River Trail, which follows the course of the river, offers a glimpse into the region’s rich history.

The Mon River Trail has its roots in the early 19th century when the Monongahela Navigation Company was established to improve the river’s navigability. The construction of locks and dams along the river allowed for the transportation of goods and resources, such as coal, timber, and iron, which were crucial to the industrial development of the region. The trail showcases remnants of this industrial past, including old lock chambers, abandoned coal mines, and remnants of the once-thriving riverfront communities.

Another significant trail in the area is the Caperton Trail, named after former West Virginia Governor Gaston Caperton. This trail, located in Morgantown, was developed in the late 20th century on a former rail corridor. The Caperton Trail provides a scenic route along the Mon River, passing through downtown Morgantown and offering beautiful views of the river and surrounding landscape. Its development aimed to promote outdoor recreation and provide a safe and accessible pathway for walkers, joggers, and cyclists.

Deckers Creek Trail, also located in Morgantown, is another historical trail in the area. It follows the course of Deckers Creek, a tributary of the Mon River. The trail was established in the early 2000s on a former rail line and has since become a popular recreational destination. The trail passes through diverse landscapes, including forests, meadows, and wetlands, offering a unique opportunity to explore the natural beauty of the region. Along the trail, visitors can also observe remnants of the area’s coal mining history, such as old mine entrances and coke ovens.

Overall, the Mon River, Caperton, and Deckers Creek Trails provide a fascinating journey through the historical development of the region. From the industrial heritage of the Mon River to the transformation of former rail lines into recreational pathways, these trails offer a glimpse into West Virginia’s past while providing opportunities for outdoor exploration and enjoyment.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Point Marion Trailhead – Located in Point Marion, Pennsylvania, this trailhead marks the beginning of the Mon River Trail.

2. Morgantown Trailhead – Situated in Morgantown, West Virginia, this trailhead serves as a major access point for both the Mon River Trail and the Caperton Trail.

3. Star City Trailhead – Found in Star City, West Virginia, this trailhead provides access to the Caperton Trail.

4. Hazel Ruby McQuain Riverfront Park – Located in Morgantown, West Virginia, this park serves as a trailhead for the Caperton Trail and offers amenities such as parking, restrooms, and picnic areas.

5. Marilla Park Trailhead – Situated in Morgantown, West Virginia, this trailhead provides access to the Deckers Creek Trail and offers parking facilities.

6. Masontown Trailhead – Located in Masontown, Pennsylvania, this trailhead marks the end of the Mon River Trail and the beginning of the Caperton Trail.

7. Reedsville Trailhead – Found in Reedsville, West Virginia, this trailhead serves as an access point for the Deckers Creek Trail.

8. Tunnelton Trailhead – Situated in Tunnelton, West Virginia, this trailhead provides access to the Deckers Creek Trail and offers parking facilities.

9. Kingwood Trailhead – Located in Kingwood, West Virginia, this trailhead marks the end of the Deckers Creek Trail.

These are some of the major access points or trailheads along the Mon River / Caperton / Deckers Creek Trails. There may be additional smaller access points along the trails as well.

Transportation Available

1. Mon River Transit – Local bus service providing transportation along the Mon River Trail.
2. Caperton Trail Shuttle – Shuttle service offering convenient transportation along the Caperton Trail.
3. Deckers Creek Trail Shuttle – Shuttle service providing transportation along the Deckers Creek Trail.
4. Bike Share Program – Bike rental service available near the trails for easy transportation.
5. Taxi Services – Various taxi companies offering transportation to and from the Mon River, Caperton, and Deckers Creek Trails.
6. Ride-Sharing Services – Popular ride-sharing platforms like Uber and Lyft operate in the area, providing transportation options for trail users.
7. Car Rental Agencies – Several car rental companies located nearby for those seeking private transportation options.
8. Local Bike Shops – Bike shops offering rentals and repairs, allowing visitors to explore the trails on their own bikes.


The amenities available at the Mon River / Caperton / Deckers Creek Trails include:

1. Restrooms: There are restroom facilities available at various points along the trails, including trailheads and parks.

2. Parking: There are designated parking areas at different trailheads and access points along the trails. These parking lots provide convenient and safe parking for trail users.

3. Camping Sites: Some sections of the trails offer camping sites for overnight stays. These sites may have amenities such as fire pits, picnic tables, and access to water.

4. Picnic Areas: There are several designated picnic areas along the trails where visitors can stop and enjoy a meal or snack. These areas often have picnic tables, benches, and trash receptacles.

5. Water Fountains: Water fountains are available at various points along the trails, providing a convenient source of drinking water for trail users.

6. Bike Repair Stations: Some sections of the trails have bike repair stations equipped with tools and air pumps. These stations are useful for cyclists who may need to make minor repairs or adjustments to their bikes.

7. Trailhead Facilities: At the trailheads, you may find additional amenities such as information kiosks, maps, and signage providing details about the trails and nearby attractions.

8. Scenic Overlooks: The trails offer several scenic overlooks where visitors can enjoy beautiful views of the surrounding landscapes, rivers, and wildlife.

9. Dog-Friendly Areas: The trails are often dog-friendly, allowing visitors to bring their furry friends along for a walk or run. However, it is important to follow any leash laws or regulations in place.

10. Accessibility: The trails strive to be accessible to people of all abilities, with features such as paved paths, ramps, and accessible restrooms available at certain locations.

Please note that the availability of these amenities may vary depending on the specific section of the trails you are visiting. It is always a good idea to check with local authorities or trail management organizations for the most up-to-date information on amenities and facilities.

Nearby Services

1. Morgantown Marriott at Waterfront Place – Upscale hotel with river views, offering comfortable accommodations near the Mon River Trail.
2. Hampton Inn Morgantown – Modern hotel with complimentary breakfast, conveniently located near the Caperton Trail.
3. Euro-Suites Hotel – All-suite hotel providing spacious rooms and a complimentary shuttle service to nearby attractions, including the Deckers Creek Trail.
4. Waterfront Family Pharmacy – Nearby pharmacy offering emergency services and basic medical supplies.
5. Sheetz – Convenient gas station and convenience store chain providing food services and emergency supplies.
6. Subway – Popular sandwich chain offering quick and affordable food options along the trails.
7. Mountain State Brewing Co. – Local brewery and restaurant serving craft beers and delicious food near the Mon River Trail.
8. Iron Horse Tavern – Cozy pub with a diverse menu and outdoor seating, located near the Caperton Trail.
9. Black Bear Burritos – Casual eatery specializing in burritos and other Mexican-inspired dishes, conveniently situated near the Deckers Creek Trail.
10. Ruby Memorial Hospital – Major medical facility in Morgantown, providing comprehensive emergency services and healthcare.

Mon River / Caperton / Deckers Creek Trails Difficulty Notes

The Mon River / Caperton / Deckers Creek Trails offer a moderate difficulty level, making them suitable for a wide range of outdoor enthusiasts. These interconnected trails wind through scenic landscapes, including riverbanks, forests, and charming towns, providing a diverse and enjoyable experience. While there are some sections with gentle inclines and descents, the trails are generally well-maintained and accessible for walkers, runners, and cyclists of varying fitness levels. With stunning views and opportunities to spot wildlife along the way, these trails offer a rewarding and manageable challenge for those seeking an active outdoor adventure.

Features And Attractions

1. Point Marion Lock and Dam: Located on the Monongahela River, this lock and dam offers a scenic view of the river and the surrounding countryside.

2. Morgantown Waterfront: The Mon River waterfront in Morgantown provides a beautiful view of the river and the city skyline. It is a popular spot for walking, biking, and picnicking.

3. Cheat Lake: Located along the Mon River, Cheat Lake offers stunning views of the water and the surrounding hills. It is a popular spot for boating, fishing, and swimming.

4. Deckers Creek Gorge: This scenic gorge is located along the Deckers Creek Trail and offers beautiful views of the creek, waterfalls, and lush vegetation.

5. Morgantown High School Bridge: This historic bridge, also known as the Walnut Street Bridge, offers a picturesque view of the Mon River and the downtown area.

6. Monongahela River Rail-Trail: This trail follows the Mon River and offers scenic views of the river, as well as access to several historical sites, including the Prickett’s Fort State Park.

7. Morgantown Lock and Dam: Located on the Mon River, this lock and dam provides a unique view of the river and the operation of the lock system.

8. Monongahela National Forest: While not directly along the Mon River or its trails, the Monongahela National Forest is a natural landmark in the region. It offers stunning views of mountains, forests, and waterfalls.

9. Arthurdale Heritage: Located near the Deckers Creek Trail, Arthurdale is a historic community established during the Great Depression. It features several historic buildings and offers a glimpse into the past.

10. Morgantown Historic District: The downtown area of Morgantown is a designated historic district with several historic buildings and landmarks. It offers a unique blend of history and modern amenities.

11. West Virginia Botanic Garden: Located near the Deckers Creek Trail, the West Virginia Botanic Garden is a beautiful natural landmark with various gardens, walking trails, and scenic views.

12. Coopers Rock State Forest: Although not directly along the Mon River or its trails, Coopers Rock State Forest is a short drive away and offers breathtaking views of the Cheat River Gorge and the surrounding forested hills.

These are just a few examples of the scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks along the Mon River, Caperton, and Deckers Creek Trails. There are many more attractions and points of interest to explore in the area.

Usage Guidelines

1. Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.
2. Clean up after your pets and dispose of waste properly.
3. Bicycles and pedestrians should yield to horses on the trail.
4. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the trails.
5. No camping or overnight stays are permitted on the trails.
6. Fires and open flames are strictly prohibited.
7. Respect seasonal restrictions, such as closures during hunting seasons.
8. Stay on designated trails and do not venture off into restricted areas.
9. Do not litter and use designated trash receptacles.
10. Observe and follow all posted signs and regulations.

Seasonal Information

The Mon River / Caperton / Deckers Creek Trails offer a fantastic outdoor experience for visitors throughout the year. The best times to visit these trails largely depend on personal preferences and the activities you wish to engage in. However, there are a few seasons that stand out for their unique charm and favorable weather conditions.

Spring is a delightful time to explore these trails as nature awakens from its winter slumber. The blooming wildflowers and budding trees create a picturesque backdrop for your outdoor adventures. The weather is generally mild, making it perfect for hiking, biking, or simply strolling along the trails. Spring also brings an abundance of bird species, making it an excellent time for birdwatching enthusiasts.

Summer is another popular season to visit the Mon River / Caperton / Deckers Creek Trails. The warm weather allows for a wide range of activities, including swimming, kayaking, and fishing in the rivers. The trails are often bustling with locals and tourists alike, enjoying picnics, family outings, and various recreational activities. However, it’s worth noting that summer can be quite hot and humid, so it’s essential to stay hydrated and take necessary precautions.

Autumn is arguably the most breathtaking time to experience these trails. The foliage transforms into a vibrant tapestry of reds, oranges, and yellows, creating a stunning visual spectacle. The cooler temperatures make hiking and biking even more enjoyable, and the trails are less crowded compared to the summer months. Fall is also an excellent time for photographers, as the scenic beauty of the trails reaches its peak.

It’s important to note that some sections of the trails may have seasonal closures or restrictions. For instance, during winter, certain portions of the trails may be closed due to snow or ice accumulation, making them unsafe for use. It’s advisable to check with local authorities or trail management organizations for any closures or restrictions before planning your visit. However, even during these closures, the trails still offer opportunities for winter activities such as cross-country skiing or snowshoeing in the surrounding areas.


1. Mon River Trail: The trail offers wheelchair accessibility with paved surfaces and gentle slopes, providing a scenic route along the Monongahela River.
2. Caperton Trail: This trail is wheelchair accessible and features a paved surface, making it easy for individuals with mobility challenges to enjoy the picturesque views of the Monongahela River and downtown Morgantown.
3. Deckers Creek Trail: With wheelchair accessibility and a crushed limestone surface, this trail winds through a beautiful wooded area, offering a peaceful and accessible outdoor experience for all visitors.

Safety Information

1. Stay on designated trails: Stick to the marked paths to avoid getting lost or wandering into unsafe areas.
2. Be aware of your surroundings: Stay alert and watch out for other trail users, wildlife, and potential hazards.
3. Use proper lighting: If using the trails after dark, carry a flashlight or wear reflective gear to ensure visibility.
4. Share the trail: Be courteous to other users, including cyclists, runners, and walkers, by keeping to one side and announcing your presence when passing.
5. Keep pets on a leash: Prevent your furry friends from straying onto the trail or bothering other users by keeping them leashed at all times.
6. Stay hydrated: Carry enough water to stay hydrated during your trail activities, especially during hot weather.
7. Wear appropriate footwear: Choose sturdy and comfortable shoes to protect your feet and provide good traction on the trail.
8. Dress for the weather: Wear appropriate clothing layers and consider sunscreen, hats, and insect repellent based on the current weather conditions.
9. Carry a cell phone: Have a fully charged cell phone with you in case of emergencies or to report any incidents.
10. Be cautious near water: Exercise caution near rivers, creeks, or any bodies of water along the trails, especially if swimming or boating.
11. Respect private property: Stay on public trails and respect private property boundaries to avoid trespassing.
12. Report any suspicious activity: If you notice any suspicious behavior or witness any incidents, report them to the appropriate authorities.
13. Follow trail rules and regulations: Familiarize yourself with any specific rules or regulations for the Mon River, Caperton, and Deckers Creek Trails and adhere to them.
14. Carry basic first aid supplies: Have a basic first aid kit with you to address minor injuries or provide assistance until help arrives if needed.
15. Inform someone of your plans: Let a friend or family member know your intended route and estimated return time for added safety.

Conservation Notes

The Monongahela River, Caperton, and Deckers Creek Trails are significant natural resources in West Virginia, contributing to the region’s conservation efforts. These trails are well-maintained and managed to ensure the preservation of their ecological integrity and the protection of the surrounding habitats.

Conservation efforts along the Monongahela River Trail focus on maintaining the health of the river and its adjacent lands. The trail passes through diverse ecosystems, including wetlands, forests, and riverbanks, which are home to a variety of plant and animal species. Conservation initiatives aim to prevent pollution, control erosion, and promote sustainable land use practices to safeguard the water quality and preserve the natural habitats along the trail.

Similarly, the Caperton Trail, located in Morgantown, is actively managed for conservation purposes. This urban trail provides a green corridor through the city, offering recreational opportunities while preserving the natural environment. Conservation efforts along the Caperton Trail include the restoration and protection of riparian areas, the planting of native vegetation, and the implementation of erosion control measures. These actions help maintain the ecological balance and enhance the biodiversity of the trail and its surroundings.

Deckers Creek Trail, situated in Monongalia County, is another important conservation area. The trail follows the path of Deckers Creek, a waterway that has undergone significant restoration efforts. Conservation initiatives along the trail focus on improving water quality, restoring riparian buffers, and enhancing wildlife habitats. These measures contribute to the overall conservation status of the trail, ensuring the preservation of the creek’s ecosystem and the surrounding natural areas.

In conclusion, the Monongahela River, Caperton, and Deckers Creek Trails are actively managed and conserved to protect their ecological integrity. Through various initiatives, these trails contribute to the preservation of water quality, restoration of habitats, and enhancement of biodiversity. These conservation efforts are crucial in maintaining the natural beauty and ecological balance of these trails for future generations to enjoy.

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