“A climbing doubletrack that is one of the main arteries of Coonskin Park.”
— Steve Creech
Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
The park is open daily from dawn to dusk. The gate at the bridge is closed at dusk, so make sure you're out before sunset so you don't get trapped.
The Fire Road Trail is marked by small wooden rectangular signs with red silhouettes of two hikers.
To access the Fire Road Trail, enter into Coonskin Park via the new bridge crossing over the Elk River on Henry C. Shores Dr. Turn left off of Henry C. Shores Dr. just before the soccer field. There is a visitor parking area at the top of this short road. The trailhead is unmarked, but is easily visible at the curve in the road.
The trail climbs alongside a shallow ravine and comes to a junction with the singletrack Patriot Trail
on the left (each of the trails is marked here with a wooden sign). Continue forward at this junction and the old fire road continues to climb, a bit steeper now. It passes by a gas pipeline and mellows out as it passes the junction with the signed Pine Trail on the right (the Turtle Trail begins just a short distance up the Pine Trail). Again, continue forward to stay on the Fire Road Trail.
The upper trailhead of the Patriot Trail
comes in on the left and again, continue forward to stay on the Fire Road Trail. The trail tops out and then descends to the left to a paved park road. There are a couple junctions near the top of the trail that have forks to the right that are clearly marked as restricted areas for authorized personnel only. Please respect these zones to maintain access. From the paved park road, you can easily access the Cub Trail and Fern Trail/Cougar Trail.
This is a great park within a 10 minute drive of downtown Charleston and is easily accessed within ten minutes from I-77, I-64, and I-79 making it a great stop to stretch out the legs during a long drive.