Hatfield-McCoy Trail system breaks permit sales record

Visitors from Ohio pull out of the Mud Pit ATV resort Friday to begin their Labor Day holiday weekend on the Hatfield-McCoy Trails. (Jessica Nuzzo/Bluefield Daily Telegraph, file photo)

The Hatfield-McCoy Trail system in southern West Virginia continues to make history, logging another year of record-breaking permit sales in 2020.

In 2020, the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System sold nearly 65,000 trail permits, which represents the highest number of annual permits ever sold, and the system’s 20th consecutive year of growth in ridership. Despite an eight-week closure due the Covid-19 pandemic, permit sales still saw a 15 percent gain over 2019 sales.

“Tourism across the country took a hit last year because of the pandemic, yet we still found ways to grow here in Almost Heaven, West Virginia,” said Tourism Commissioner Chelsea Ruby. “Travel trends show that more and more visitors seek outdoor experiences that allow for social distancing, and the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System does just that along the beautiful mountains of southern West Virginia. We can’t wait to witness their growing success in the coming year, and for decades to come.”

The Hatfield-McCoy Trail System welcomed more than 8,500 new riders to the trail system in 2020. More than 80 percent of total sales were to non-West Virginia residents with both resident and non-resident ridership growing for the year.

“It’s been a privilege to watch the trails continue to grow, and we are seeing more investment from lodging providers, restaurants, and supporting outfitters like never before,” said Jeffrey Lusk, Executive Director of the Hatfield-McCoy Regional Recreation Authority.

The Hatfield-McCoy Trail System will be adding two more trail systems in two more counties to its already successful trail network on March 1 when the Ivy Branch and Cabwaylingo trail systems open in Lincoln and Wayne counties. These new systems will push the trails to nearly 900 miles of off-road adventure riding for ATVs, UTVs, ORVs, and off-road motorcycles.

The Hatfield-McCoy Trail System is one of the largest off-road vehicle trail systems in the world. Open 365 days a year, the trail system is a four-season travel and tourism destination that connects ATV-friendly towns across the southern coalfields.

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