Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
770.00 ft (234.70 m)
Trail type
11.20 mi (18.02 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Glade Creek Trail passes through a mature second-growth, mixed forest of hardwoods, hemlocks, and rhododendron as it follows an old narrow-gauge railroad up Glade Creek. It is an easy trail with a gentle gradient and only has one river crossing that the National Park Service bridged with a simple arched steel bridge. The joy of this trail is the pleasant walk it provides through a pretty forest along a gurgling creek that is nearly always in earshot.

In the summer, the cool waters offer numerous opportunities to wade in the periodic pools. The stream is stocked and provides excellent catch-and-release trout fishing along the lower half. Go the whole 5.6 miles up or turn around when you desire. The Glade Creek Trail is relatively uncrowded compared to the hiking areas around Fayetteville. The best map of the area is the New River Gorge National River (National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map #242).

From the trailhead at the Glade Creek Campground, follow the wide trail upriver. After an easy half-mile, you will come to the low, river-wide Glade Creek Falls. Carefully climb down to the river to get the best head on photos of the falls with the stone wall from the old rail bed behind it.

About 3 miles from the trailhead, you arrive at the bridged river crossing. In another mile, you will intercept the steep 0.2-mile Kate Falls Trail on the right. It takes you to the quaint 15-foot falls. Return back to Glade Creek.

Turn left to continue up Glade Creek. In another half-mile or so, the Interstate 64 bridge will come into view. From here it is only another half-mile until you will reach the southern trailhead. Based on conversations with park rangers, the southern trailhead can often be hard to drive to, so check with the Park Service before attempting. Turn around and retrace your route.

Near the southern trailhead is the junction for the 5.1-mile Kates Plateau Trail. It is a semi-loop that also takes you to the 4.6-mile Polls Plateau Trail that is also a semi-loop. Both trails provide opportunities to explore seldom visited areas of the park. This area is remote and can involve a tough crossing of Kates Branch and hard-to-navigate trails.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Pretty bubbling creek. Mature mixed forest.



Trailhead Elevation

1,270.00 ft (387.10 m)

Highest point

2,015.00 ft (614.17 m)


Vault toilet
Near lake or river
Backcountry camping
Family friendly

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping


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