Mining Site RestoredAfter passing through three different owners, the mine was finally closed in 1958. Mine structures began to decay, buildings collapsed leaving only their stone foundations behind, and a forest of trees and vines progressively concealed the disappearing town. However, due to the vision of NPS historical architect Richard Seegars, the NPS began a three phase program to restore the site. Phase I began in 2005 with the stabilization of the tipple. Phase II was directed toward refurbishing the conveyor and headhouse. Financed by funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the project was finished under Phase III which involved vegetation removal, the felling of more than 1200 trees, final structure stabilization, trail building, fencing and interpretative signs, and road renovations. Now, according to author Eve West, “Nuttallburg is considered one of West Virginia’s finest examples of an early-twentieth century coal-mining community and one of the best coal-related industrial sites.”
|Beehive Coke Oven|
The Tipple TrailThere are seven trails at Nuttallburg that rank from very easy to very difficult. The Tipple Trail ranks first in interest in my estimation. It’s an easy 0.6 mile trip. From the parking lot, you’ll pass the tipple and get good views of the imposing conveyor structure. It’s an impressive sight and quite an engineering feat as well. After passing the conveyor, the trail splits and encircles a long bay of beehive coke ovens. The lower split of the trail passes by the openings of the coke ovens. At the end of the coke ovens the trail circles around the foundation of the Company Store and returns to the tipple.
Seldom SeenAt the Company Store a new trail takes off toward a place with an intriguing name, “Seldom Seen.” Seldom Seen served as a small residential community for some families of those employed at Nuttallburg. All that remains of the town now are a few foundation stones. It’s an easy 0.6 mile round trip.
Town Loop TrailWhen back at the tipple, I recommend you take the Town Loop Trail (0.5 miles). As the name suggests, this trail loops through the old town and by several foundations. Because the town facilities were segregated, you’ll see the foundations of the white church and white schoolhouse as well as the remnants of a small home.
Keeny’s Creek TrailFor those who are looking for a longer hike, I suggest taking the Keeney’s Creek Trail (3.3 miles). This is a rail trail with a gentle 4% grade. This trail crosses under the conveyor and over several trestle bridges that offer spectacular views of the rugged cascades of Short Creek. Trail connections can be made from this trail to the Conveyor Trail and Town Loop Connector Trail.