Chicago, St. Louis & New Orleans Railroad’s 34-mile Paducah-East Cairo line was constructed in 1902-03 between East Cairo and Paducah, Kentucky and abandoned in 1943 after a wooden trestle burned.
On June 15, Kentucky’s newest rail trail will open between West Van Lear to Royalton along the former Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad Dawkins Subdivision. The 18.5 mile Big Lovely Mountain Rail Trail will be open to pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians. One of its highlights is the 662-foot Gun Creek Tunnel and several trestles.
West Virginia has many miles of fantastic rail-to-trails, or railroads that have been abandoned and converted into recreational corridors. Most of the trails are not paved, and many contain impressive bridges and tunnels that make any trip exciting. And quite a few of them have remnants of their coal mining past remaining, whether it is abandoned mine portals or discarded equipment. Two of those trails are profiled: The Chesapeake & Ohio’s Hawks Nest Subdivision and the Nicholas, Fayette & Greenbrier Railway.
The Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton Railroad (CH&D) Wellston Division was initially constructed as part of the Dayton and Southeastern (D&SE), who had proposed a line southeast of Dayton, Ohio to Wellston in 1878 to connect to the developing southeastern Ohio coal …