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West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced that the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System can reopen May 21 with limitations.

Residents of the Tug Valley area can expect to start seeing trail riders popping back up in the area in the coming weeks, as Gov. Jim Justice announced the reopening of the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System this past week.

In his Friday press conference, Justice said that as part of his statewide reopening plan, the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System will open with limitations May 21.

Riders will be expected to follow safety guidelines including wearing face masks or face shields while stopped; self-screening for COVID-19 symptoms; taking their temperature prior to arriving at the trails to ensure it doesn’t exceed 100 degrees; avoiding congregating on the trails; practicing proper social distancing; and avoiding sharing UTVs, ATVs or off-road dirt bikes with anyone outside their immediate group or party.

Lodging providers will also have to follow guidelines, including providing guests with proper face coverings and gloves upon check-in if they do not already have them and provide a copy of all applicable safety guidelines by the Hatfield McCoy Recreational Trail Authority to all overnight guests.

While trails will be open, all trailhead buildings (the fixed facilities at each trail system where riders can purchase permits, merchandise and use public restrooms) will remain closed.

These facilities will not reopen until further notice as their size prohibits social distancing.

The sites, when open, lead to congregations of trail riders, according to a statement by the H&M Trails. The parking areas utilized by trail riders at these locations will remain open as normal.

The trail system has been closed since late March after Justice shut it down in an attempt to keep out-of-state tourists coming into West Virginia to ride the trails.

Jarrid McCormick is a reporter for the Williamson Daily News. He can be reached by email at