Last updated: April 5, 2019
Mercer County’s Pocahontas Trail is at the heart of the world-famous Hatfield McCoy trail system. This 700-mile network snakes through Southern West Virginia’s deep, rhododendron-packed hollows, traveling past historic homes and collapsed coal mining towns, like the long-forgotten town of Goodwill Hollow. While you won’t find any active mines, you may still catch a glimpse of glittery black coal mixed in with the dirt on the trails!
Wake up with the sun to witness the magic of Mercer County’s mountains draped in fresh morning dew. Then it’s time to hit the trails! When it comes to all-terrain, Crazy Mountain Cycles has got you covered. Rent one of their new Polaris RZR’s for the best ride of your life alongside knowledgeable guides, like owner Mark Bullis.
Experience Mercer County like a local by pulling straight up to the Old School Grocery in Montcalm. This quaint spot serves up sandwiches, burgers, fries, and other must-have fuel for a day on the trails. On the way out, don’t forget to grab a snack for later. Try the ultimate West Virginia staple – ooey, gooey pepperoni rolls!
Back at the trailhead in Bramwell, a storybook town awaits you. Bramwell was once home to a bustling coal industry – in fact, it had the highest number of millionaires per capita in the entire country! We encourage you to explore this fairy-tale town tucked in between the mountains by taking a stroll down Millionaire Row. This brick-cobbled street is lined with well-preserved, ornate mansions formerly occupied by coal barons. Word has it that, sometimes, homeowners even invite curious passersby in for a closer look!
Locals and visitors both love the mud-friendly, comfortable atmosphere of Buffalo Trails Restaurant. The large outdoor patio brings mother nature up close, with views of fresh-cut cabins and rows of ATVs. An indoor section offers a full-service bar with craft beer, cocktails and more. Open Thursday-Saturday, Buffalo Trails is a favorite place for steaks, salad and dessert after a long day on the trails.
Mercer County is packed with hospitable places to grab some shut eye. Whether you’re hoping for a fancy bed and breakfast, an adventurous night in a tree house, or simply looking for a place to crash after a long day muddin’, you’ll certainly get a good nights’ rest here.
Head back out onto the trails for a full-day of mountain chaos! Take it all in as you blast through beautiful rhododendron thickets and breathe the honey-suckle infused air. The Hatfield-McCoy trail system spider webs all over Southern West Virginia, so use this chance to explore neighboring McDowell and Wyoming Counties.
For lunch and dessert, head to The Corner Shop, a storied little soda fountain serving up juicy burgers and delicious handmade milkshakes. This pharmacy is still booming from its heyday in the early 1900s, back when it peddled goods to the millionaires of Bramwell.
While you’re back in town, make a pit stop at the Bramwell Depot museum to learn about the area’s history as a coal mining hub in the early 1900s. Back then, more than a dozen trains would stop at this station every day! This interpretive museum is open daily and will give you a much greater appreciation for the deep green hollows you’ve been riding.
For dinner, head to Wrong Turn Pizza. Despite its name, this always-packed joint is hard to miss: just look for the bright yellow building surrounded by ATVs! Wind down with a brick oven pizza and an ice cold draft beer.