Heritage Trail

Wheeling Heritage Trail (Rail-to-Trail)

Trail Map & Brochure

Yesterday’s Rails...Today’s Trails 

The Wheeling Heritage Trails are an important element of Wheeling’s vitality and represent the evolution of our city, which was once filled with railroad tracks. Now, the City of Wheeling is home to more than 18 miles of paved walking/bicycle trails that run along the Ohio River and throughout the city. The route is flat and paved, and beautiful signs along the way provide a self-guided tour of Wheeling's past.

The Ohio River Trail segment runs from 48th Street at Water Street in South Wheeling north to Pike Island Locks and Dam in Clearview. The trail provides an urban escape and an opportunity to soak up local history and modern industry in this historical city. The route follows the eastern bank of the Ohio River, once the lifeblood of the city's manufacturing industry. Barges still go up and down the river, and with good timing and patience you can watch one progress through the series of locks. Take a break to rest on a bench and you will be rewarded with a splendid view of the river and wildlife. This trail connects to the Wheeling Creek Trail at Heritage Port.

From downtown Wheeling, the Wheeling Creek Trail heads east to Elm Grove. Along the way, you'll cross high above Wheeling Creek on the Hempfield Viaduct and pass through Hempfield Tunnel, built in 1904. This segment of the Wheeling Heritage Trails is less urban and meanders along a wooded corridor.

It is worth noting that at the trail's northern terminus, you can pick up the nearly 7-mile  Brooke Pioneer Trail  and continue your journey all the way to Wellsburg for a more substantial ride.

Trail Rules

  • Trails are open dawn to dusk
  • Pedestrians have the right of way
  • No unauthorized motor vehicles
  • No alcoholic beverages or tobacco
  • No littering or graffiti
  • Animals are permitted only if restrained by a leash
  • Owners are responsible for disposal of pet waste
  • Abuse of facilities will be cause for removal
  • No soliciting or panhandling
  • If using a personal stereo, please keep volume low
  • Always travel the trails with a friend
  • No feeding waterfowl and wildlife

Trail Safety Tips

  • Carry a  map  and know where you are at all times
  • Wear a safety helmet when bicycling or rollerblading
  • Keep to the right except when passing
  • Be alert for maintenance vehicles crossing trails

Local Bike Shops

Local Bike Groups

Please visit our partners at the  West Virginia State Trails Program!

Parking and Trail Access

To access the trail downtown, park at the Intermodal Parking Garage beside Wesbanco Arena (Home of the Wheeling Nailers & the West Virginia Roughriders) and venture north or south along the Ohio River.  To get to the northern endpoint, travel north on River Road and look for Pike Island Locks and Dam on the left. The parking lot is in front of the dam. The southern endpoint is located at the intersection of 48th Street and Water Street in downtown Wheeling. The eastern endpoint is located at the end of Lava Avenue near the Wheeling Skatepark & the J.B. Chambers I-470 Recreational Complex.

Ohio River Trail 

  • Pike Island Dam
  • Route 2, north of Warwood
  • First Street in North Wheeling
  • 5th Street in North Wheeling
  • 12th Street at Heritage Port in Downtown Wheeling
  • 14th Street at Heritage Port in Downtown Wheeling
  • 24th Street in Centre Wheeling
  • 35th Street in South Wheeling
  • 48th Street in South Wheeling

Wheeling Creek Trail 

  • 14th Street at Heritage Port
  • 17th Street in East Wheeling
  • Rock Point Road
  • Washington Avenue in Clator
  • Lava Avenue in Elm Grove

Handicapped Accessible Parking Areas 

  • Route 2, north of Warwood
  • North 9th Street in Warwood
  • 12th Street at Heritage Port in Downtown Wheeling
  • 35th Street in South Wheeling
  • Lava Avenue in Elm Grove 

After Hours Trail Permit

The Heritage Trail is used for commuting as well as recreation, fitness and enjoying nature. Because trail hours are  - 7 a.m. until dark every day of the year - it limits some people's options. For example, someone bicycling to work, school or church during open hours would be unable to return on the same trail after dark.  Also if someone works and can only exercise after work, they may not be able to exercise.  For this reason, the City of Wheeling, Parks & Recreation Department issues special permits to be worn for after-hours use.  Please complete the application in the Parks & Recreation Menu.  After the application is approved, an arm band will be issued. You will be contacted by email.

Nine Safety Tips for Running in the Dark

1.  Wear brightly colored clothing.

2.  Wear reflective gear.

3.  Attach a light to your running belt, shoes, or hat.

4.  Plan your route carefully.

5.  Avoid using noise-cancelling headphones and listening to loud music.

6.  Take extra care at intersections.

7.  Run with a friend.

8.  Let someone know you're going for a run.

9. Carry an ID.

Please Note:  According to West Virginia law, all bicyclists who want to ride at night must equip their bikes with a front lamp that emits a white light that is visible from at least 500 feet away. The back of the bicycle must also have a red reflector that is visible from 50 to 300 feet to the rear when directly in front of a motorist’s headlights. Bicyclists may also use a red light on the rear of the bike in addition to the reflector that emits light visible from 500 feet away.

If a bicyclist is over the age of 15, he or she can legally ride without wearing a helmet in West Virginia. According to Section 17C-11A-4 of the West Virginia Code, all children 14 and younger must wear a bicycle helmet.

Outdoor Fitness Equipment

  • Five Stations
  • Wheeling Creek Section of Heritage Trail