Cheat River History and Information:

 Businesses / Attractions / History / Natural Science

Along the way there are many businesses that can make your outdoor experience more interesting and comfortable. While much of the trail offers the feel of a near-wilderness experience, you are never very far from civilization. “Roughing it” can be as much or little of your Cheat River experience as you like!

The Cheat River will certainly captivate your senses. With a deep and storied history, the Cheat is like an outdoor museum. West Virginia’s Allegheny Mountains were at the heart of many important Civil War events.

The Cheat also offers a personal view of nature with living examples of natural phenomenon encountered only in textbooks or video by far too many people! Get in touch with your wild side!

As you float through peaks and valleys, let your mind wander through time with these examples of historic and natural attractions. When you visit the businesses mentioned here, be sure and tell them you are traveling the Water Trail!


  • Blackwater Outdoor Adventures
    Located on the river’s edge in St. George, within the Mon National Forest boundary, BOA provides guided paddling trips and a River Outpost and General Store to supply fishing, camping, whitewater, tubing and canoeing needs.


  • Irene’s Place (Beautiful house rental)
    • Near The Fat Olive, Parsons
    • 304-704-5695
  • Piccolo Paula’s
    • Between 1st and 2nd Streets on Walnut St.
    • Open 11am-2pm, Monday through Friday
    • (304) 866-4418
  • Depot Diner
    • (FaceBook Little Andi’s)
    • 166 Main St, Parsons, WV
    • 304-478-8955
  • MR Pizza
    • 412 Second St. Parsons
    • 304-478-3663
  • BFS (Formerly Sheetz)
    • 200 1st St. Parsons
    • 304-478-2333


City of Parsons
Located just south of the Cheat main stem and primarily on Shavers Fork. Dining, shopping, and lodging options.

Rowlesburg ParkATW5
Public park with playground equipment, restrooms, pavilions, parking, and river access. Home to the annual Rowlesburg Ox Roast, WV Chestnut Festival, and Arts on the River Festival.


Historic Sites 

  • Monongahela National Forest
    Established in 1920, the 900,000 acre forest straddles the highest ridges in the State. Variations in terrain and precipitation have created one of the most ecologically diverse National Forests in the country.
  • Seneca Trail
    Also known as the Warrior’s Path, Rte. 219 was the Native American’s highway from New York to the south.
  • Allegheny Highlands Rail-Trail
    Accessed in both Hendricks and Parsons, this level rail-trail is good for biking and walking. It runs nearly 25 miles from Elkins to Hendricks.
  • Minear Massacre Historic Site
    Site of 1871 massacre where John Minear and his son, Jonathan, were among those killed.
  • Allegheny Trail (Section 1)
  • St. George
    Historic town (1776) and academy from whence the County Records were stolen in a successful attempt to move the county seat to Parsons in 1893. St. George changed sides 10 times during the Civil War.
  • Old Rt. 50 Bridge Abutments
    Rt. 50 was an old buffalo trail and Indian Path before becoming a popular east/west route.
  • Railroad Bridge: Site of a Civil War battle and also where George Washington identified (predicted) the easiest grade between the Potomac and Ohio River watersheds.
  • ATW4Cannon Hill:
    Site of cannon emplacements used for the defense of Rowlesburg and its railroad bridge in the Civil War.

WWII Musuem: Housed at the Szilagyi Center for the Visual and Performing Arts in Rowlesburg.

Tray Run Viaduct: Built in 1852 and a focus of the Confederate Jones – Imboden Raid of the Civil War. The structure was considered an engineering marvel of the times, and was included on the back of the West Virginia state seal (0.6 mi. North of Rowlesburg and the northern boundary of the trail- do not try to paddle here).