Guest River Gorge Trail to be closed 45 days for repairs

Stephen Igo • Mar 8, 2018 at 8:30 PM

COEBURN — The George Washington & Jefferson National Forest will temporarily close the Guest River Gorge Trail this month to repair storm damage, Clinch District Ranger Michelle W. Davalos announced on Tuesday.

The repair work is scheduled to begin March 12 and expected to take approximately 45 days to complete. During that time, the entrance road, parking lot and trail will be closed to ensure public safety.

The entrance road, parking lot and trailhead are located near Coeburn.

Davalos said the repair work is needed to address damage from a 2015 storm and includes large scale embankment reconstruction. Besides improving conditions for trail users, the repairs will help reduce the potential of the unstable embankment to affect the water quality of the Guest River.

During the project, heavy equipment will be traveling into and along the trail, and the trestle safety rails will be removed to allow the passage of the machinery.

“I recognize this is a popular trail and the temporary closure will be an inconvenience to our users,” Davalos said. “However, visitor safety is my utmost concern at this time. I look forward to the trail being open again and serving as a source of enjoyment for forest visitors.”

The 5.9-mile Guest River Gorge Trail entrance is located approximately two miles south of Coeburn. The trail, a transformed railroad bed, includes a tunnel, trestle and striking scenery and is a popular venue for hikers and bicyclists.

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