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Brooke Pioneer Trail, Yankee Trail

Along the Ohio River from Short Creek, 2 miles north Pike Island Dam, to Wellsburg

Located in the northern panhandle of West Virginia, these trail are along the east bank of the Ohio River, very close to western Pennsylvania. The Brooke County Pioneer trail starts at Short Creek on the Brooke Country Line and goes northward for 6.9 miles to the town boundary of Wellsburg. The Yankee trail then connects and travels 2.3 mile though Wellsburg. The Yankee Trail may eventually connect to the Panhandle Trail in Weirton, WV.

Brooke Pioneer Trail

Location Short Creek on the Brooke Country Line, northward to south edge of Wellsburg

Trailheads Wellsburg, Pike Island Lock and Dam

Length, Surface 6.9 miles paved

Character Uncrowded, rural, some sunny sections, some wooded, flat

Usage restrictions No motorized vehicles

Amenities None

Yankee Trail

Location South edge of Wellsburg to Wheeling,

Trailhead Wellsburg

Length, Surface 2.3 miles paved, some shared road

Character Uncrowded, urban, flat

Usage restrictions No motorized vehicles

Amenities Supermarket, restaurants, motel

Driving time from Pittsburgh 1 hour 10 minutes west

The Brooke trail’s mile post zero is at the southern end at Short Creek where it connects to the Wheeling Trail. The trail is cut into the hillside on the bank of the Ohio River. Just up the bank a slight distance is another bench which used to have a trolley on it. Further up the bank is Route WV 2.

Brooke Trail

The Brooke Trail begins in mixed woods and sun close to highway US2. Shortly after crossing the Short Ck Bridge (MP 0.2) there is a small park with a gazebo and an outhouse. At MP 2.2 is Ruby Park, a very small park with an outhouse. At MP 3.3 is the requisite sewer plant. The yellow circle painted on the trail at MP 3.9 is the start of an astronomical display; it represents Neptune. The display ends with the sun at MP 6.9 with the remaining planets painted at their appropriately scaled intervals.

Between MP 4.0 and 4.4 the trail is in the open again with some light industry alongside, include a large dog kennel operation. At 4.4 WV 2 starts to climbs away from the trail and goes further up the bank leaving the trail to run through woods.

At MP 5.7 there is a trail marker for the “Largest American Elm Tree East of the Mississippi”. In December 2014 this tree appeared to be suffering and in April 2016 it was definitely dead. Several other trail markers appear between here and the end of the trail.

The Brooke trail ends at MP 6.9 and connects to the Yankee Trail that continues northward through the town of Wellsburg.

There are numerous benches and interpretive markers along the Brooke Trail.

Yankee Trail

The Yankee Trail starts with a short drop to Charles St. It then continues on Charles St for a short block and then turns right up a short grade to get back on the railroad grade. At the top of the grade is a town park with a restroom. Through town (about 2 miles) the trail is on a wide street/parking lot of what use to be the railroad. Most of the buildings along here have freight doors that were designed for railroad car access.

On the north end of town, the railroad line becomes active with tracks. Follow the arrows on the “Share the Road” signs. Turn left on 22nd, right on Charles St, right on 27th and left just before the railroad tracks.

The current end of the trail is on a small park, the former site of a swimming pool.

Local history, attractions

<< Missing any information >>

Extensions of the ride

In Wellsburg, between the cross streets of 6th and 12th, instead of following the trail, consider traveling parallel to the trail on Charles Street. This is the original commercial district of town with many of the original buildings still there. Charles Street is one or two blocks west of the trail.

Development plans

Trail developers hope to continue building trail northward from Wellsburg, through Follansbee with an eventual connection to the Panhandle Trail in Weirton, distance of about 8 miles.

There are plans for a new bridge across the Ohio River near Beech Bottom. At present these plans include a bicycle path on the bridge, and a ramp from the trail to the bridge deck.

Access points

Vicinity: Directions begin headed westbound on US22 at the PA-WV state line. To reach this point from Pittsburgh, go north on I279/I376. Follow signs to US22 West.

Wellsburg Northern trailhead: From the PA-WV state line, continue west on US22 for 6 miles to Exit 1, WV2 South. Take the exit, and continue south on US22 for about 6.5 miles to the north edge of Wellsburg. Turn right/west on 27th Street. This will be the first street that you see as you approach Wellsburg. Go one block and park along the street, or in the corner of the Kroger parking lot. The trail is north of here is between the Kroger parking lot and Yankee Street. The trail south is share the road with 27th street for one block, and then turns left/south onto Charles Street.

Wellsburg Southern trailhead: From the PA-WV state line, continue west on US22 for 6 miles to Exit 1, WV2 South. Take the exit, and continue south on US22 for about 8.5 miles to just past the south edge of Wellsburg. 150 ft after crossing the creek, trail head parking will be on the right opposite the school bus yard.

Short Creek trailhead: No official trailhead here. From the PA-WV state line, continue west on US22 for 6 miles to Exit 1, WV2 South. Take the exit, and continue south on US22 for about 15.4 miles to Short Creek Road. Turn left and park along the side of the road. Be careful as you cross WV 2. If you see the big tall coal towers on your right, you have gone too far.

Pike Island trailhead: From the Short Creek Trailhead continue 2.6 miles south on WV2 to the Lock and Dam parking lot on the Wheeling Trail. Page NE-<<XX>>. Plenty of parking here.


Rest rooms, water: in the town park on the south end of Wellsburg. Outhouse at mile 0.2 and 2.2

Bike shop, rentals: none

Restaurant, groceries: Kroger supermarket at the 27 St trailhead. Several restaurants in Wellsburg, both along Charles Street and US2. Also marina restaurant at 12 th St and the river.

Camping, simple lodging: Blue Chip Motel on the south end of town

Swimming, fishing: Fishing in Ohio River. We have no information on water quality.

Wheelchair access: Trailhead OK. In Wellsburg, there are some on the road sections, which travel neighbor hood streets. There is a grade, both up and down at the edge of town, where the trail drops about 20 feet from railroad grade to street level and back to railroad grade.

Trail organization

Brooke Pioneer Trail Association
P.O.Box 401

Wellsburg, WV 26070

Maps, guides, other references

USGS Topographic Maps: Titonsville, Steubenville West, Steubenville East


Text version of 23 Apr 2016 based on personal observation while bicycling Brooke Trail Apr 2016, Yankee Trail Dec 2014. Conditions may have changed; you are responsible for your own safety. Oldest segment check 12/2014.