The Melungeons blog

Monday, February 09, 2009

The Kanawha Trace

By Neil Elvick


"The Kanawha Trace enters what is now West Virginia near the town of Peterstown, about twenty-five miles west of Blacksburg, Virginia. It largely follows alongside the course of the New River, but at times it will go overland in places where the river makes a wide loop. From Peterstown to where the trail comes to the Falls of New River (where the Kanawha River Dam is now located) was eighty-one miles of rugged trail. At this point the river becomes navigable and some settlers would build flatboats to float down to Gallipolis. Others would continue on the trail alongside the river for the remaining eighty-two miles to the Ohio River. After crossing the Ohio, the overland trail continued to Rio Grande, Jackson, Chillicothe and on to Indiana."