Trail Rules & Trail Permits

permit_2017Trail Permits

Trail permits are required to ride Hatfield McCoy Trails.  Each person accessing Hatfield McCoy Trails is required to purchase a permit, passengers included.

Permits are issued by year and will expire on December 31 of the year in which it was purchased.

Permits rates are:

  • $50.00 for non-residents
  • $26.50 for West Virginia residents*

*West Virginia Residency is determined by state-issued identification for all individuals 16 years of age or older. ID must be presented at the time of purchase.

Additionally, military members are eligible for WV resident rate permits.

A trail permit is a sticker that is to be attached to your helmet.  Don’t worry about damaging your helmet.  When your permit expires and you would like to remove it, we suggest you sit your helmet in the sun on a warm day and it will peel off pretty easily.

Trail permits for the upcoming year are usually made available around mid to late November.  If you are planning a trip to HMT late in November, you will most likely be issued the upcoming year’s permit which will be valid until the end of the upcoming year.

Trail Rules

It is necessary to have trail rules in order to maintain a safe environment for the enjoyment of everyone.  We have included the official Hatfield McCoy Trail rules below.


General Rules

  • User Permits required.
  • Everyone must wear a DOT or SNELL approved helmet and eye protection.
  • All operators and passengers on an ATV, UTV, or motorcycle must follow manufacturers’ recommendations.
  • All operators and passengers on an ATV, UTV, or motorcycle must meet manufacturers’ minimum age requirements. No booster or car seats are allowed.
  • Obey all signs, gates, and barriers.
  • Stay on marked trails.
  • Adult supervision is required for those under age 16.
  • Do not leave any trash or litter behind.
  • No alcoholic beverages may be consumed or carried.
  • Drive or ride at a speed reasonable for conditions.
  • No camping.
  • Firearms are allowed. If the firearm is a handgun for personal protection, then you can carry it concealed or unconcealed, loaded or unloaded,  whether you have a concealed carry permit or not. If it is a long gun that you are using for hunting purposes and are traveling on the Trail System to get to a hunting location, it must be unloaded and cased while on the Trail System. No hunting is allowed from or on the Trail System itself.
  • No fires.
  • Stay alert at all times, be aware of oncoming traffic.
  • Trails only open during daylight hours.

ORV-Specific Rules

  • ORVs are ONLY permitted on the Bearwallow trail system.
  • Driver and passengers are required to wear helmets.
  • Driver and passengers must have valid trail permits.
  • A valid driver’s license is required to operate an ORV.
  • All passengers must be over 8 years of age, or 4’9” tall. No booster or car seats are allowed.
  • Seat belts must be worn at all times. the number of passengers is limited to the number of factory installed seat belts.
  • ORVs are required to have a roll cage on all most difficult (black and black/red) trails.


UTV-Specific Rules

The driver and passengers of a UTV must:

  • Wear seat belts at all times; the number of passengers is limited to the number of factory installed seat belts.
  • Keep their hands, arms, feet, head and legs inside the vehicle at all times during operation.
  • Possess a valid owner’s manual for the machine being operated that is able to be produced upon request.
  • Stay on designated trails. UTVs are permitted on easiest, more difficult, and select most difficult trails (signed accordingly).
  • UTVs must be equipped with a steering wheel and roll-over protection system from the manufacturer. Low pressure tires required.


If you have any questions or need clarification about any of these rules, you can contact the Hatfield McCoy Trails offices at 1-800-592-2217 or contact us using the Contact link at the bottom of this page.



Eat, Sleep, Ride, Repeat


Part 1:

Eat, sleep, ride, repeat.

Emphasis on ride.

That’s how we like to do it, so it’s important to know where to eat, where to sleep, and where to ride.

If you are planning your first trip to Hatfield McCoy Trails, you will want to start by choosing a trail (or trails) to ride.  All of the trail systems are not connected, and there is no one location from which you can access it all.

The southern trails are Pocahontas, Indian Ridge and Pinnacle Creek.  These three systems are connected and can be accessed any location within these three trails.  For a multi-day trip, we recommend lodging at Indian Ridge, because it is the trail system in the center of the trifecta.

bramwell1From Indian Ridge, you can hit the Pocahontas connector trail and be riding the Pocahontas trail within minutes.  The connector is part county road (gravel) and it’s a quick connect, leaving a lot of time to explore before heading in to Bramwell, WV for lunch and gas.  The Pocahontas system is a little smaller than Indian Ridge and Pinnacle, but that allows extra time to tootle around the town of Bramwell after lunch.  Bramwell is a quaint little town with great residents, interesting architecture, good eats, and a museum.  It’s a good break after a morning of hard riding.  Be sure to follow the ATV route when entering Bramwell.  ATV’s are not allowed on Main Street.

or…hit the Pinnacle Creek connector and head over to the Pinnacle system.  The connector to Pinnacle Creek is a long one, a little better than 12 miles to be exact.  Because the connector trail is long, we generally allow all day if we plan to ride that system.  That allows us to do a good bit of exploring along the way, grab lunch and gas in Pineville or Mullins, and explore some more on the way back. We usually try to head out by 9:00a.m. and return around 6:00p.m.  This way, we don’t feel rushed or bone weary when we get back to camp.

Indian Ridge is one of our favorite systems.  It has a good mix of “open her up and blow out the cobwebs” trails, as well as some technical trails that take a bit of finessing.  Gas is available in Keystone, just outside Northfork, or at the Ashland campground near the trailhead.

Lodging options are plentiful at Pocahontas and Indian Ridge.  Cabins, rv sites, tent sites, apartment style rentals, house rentals….it’s all available.  Pinnacle Creek is a little more limited in lodging choices, but if you plan early, you should be able to snag a spot.

Many riders have found a home away from home with one of the lodging establishments at Hatfield McCoy Trails and return time and again to the same place.  After a while, it’s like coming home.

Good friends, good rides, and good times.  That’s what it’s all about.

For a list of available lodging providers shown by trail system, visit

To reserve a cabin at Wild Willy’s ATV Rezort, visit


The Southern Trio

mudholeThe southern trio at Hatfield McCoy Trails refers to the Indian Ridge, Pinnacle Creek and Pocahontas Trail systems.  These three systems are separate systems, but they are linked together to create a vast riding area.  Pocahontas is the southern most system, Indian Ridge (where we are) is in the center, and Pinnacle Creek is to the north.

The systems are linked via a “connector” trail.  While it is possible to ride from the extreme southern end to the extreme northern end, many riders prefer to secure lodging in the center, on the Indian Ridge trail, to allow the best access to all three systems.  Otherwise, you may find yourself riding the same trails over and over to get to a new area.

Pocahontas connects to the community of Bramwell, WV.  Indian Ridge connects to the community of Northfork/Keystone.  Pinnacle Creek connects to the communities of Pineville and Mullins.  Each community offers gas, food and lodging. Cabin rentals, rv sites, house rentals, and primitive camping are available.

Indian Ridge also has the distinction of being located in McDowell County, WV, an atv friendly county, in which it is legal to ride your atv on nearly all roadways.

To book a stay at Wild Willy’s ATV Rezort, visit

For a list of other lodging available at Indian Ridge, please visit


These maps are aligned to show how the southern trails of Indian Ridge, Pinnacle Creek, and Pocahontas Trail are connected.   Map provided by Wild Willy’s ATV Rezort.




Hatfield McCoy Trails

adv5If you love atv’ing, put Hatfield McCoy Trails on your bucket list.  Located in southern West Virginia, Hatfield McCoy Trails is the east coast’s premier riding destination.  Made up of 7 separate trail systems, Hatfield McCoy Trails offers hundreds of miles of off road trails to explore.

The terrain is mountainous, but HMT offers something for everyone.  The trails are mapped and well marked.  Each trail is color coded on the map by level of difficulty.  Green trails are the easiest of the terrain, blue trails are a little harder, black trails are fairly extreme, and black/red trails are the most extreme.  Yellow trails are single track (one way) for dirt bikers.

But don’t be intimidated.  Every trail system has a larger portion of easy trails (greens & blues) than any other.  Whether you are a beginner or an expert, there is more than enough trail for you to enjoy.

HMT’s all link to at least one community or town and will have an atv approved route (community connector) to gas, lodging and food.  Yep, you’ll ride right off the trail into town on your atv.

Permits are required and are $50 per person for out of state riders and $26.50 for WV residents.  Military personnel are eligible for the WV resident rate.  Permits are valid until December 31 of he year in which it was purchased and are valid at all 7 Hatfield McCoy Trail systems.

For more information, check out or visit the official Hatfield McCoy website at

Happy Trails!wmg