Sunrise Carriage Trail Parking available at top and bottom, (304) 348-6458. Open dawn-dusk. Free. Dogs ok on a leash. Brochure.
|entrance to Sunrise Carriage Trail in Charleston, West Virginia|
Once this delightful walking trail served as the carriage road up to Sunrise, the stately residence of the ninth governor of West Virginia, William Alexander MacCorkle. Currently the 1905, 36-room, Georgian-style Sunrise Mansion is privately owned and inhabited by a law firm.
|Sunrise mansion at top of Sunrise Carriage Trail in Charleston, West Virginia|
In the garden is a monument to astronaut Christa McAuliffe, who was the first American civilian to go into space and who died aboard the Challenger space shuttle when it exploded on January 28, 1986.
|monument to astronaut Christa McAuliffe in garden at top of Sunrise Carriage Trail in Charleston, West Virginia|
|view of city from garden at top of Sunrise Carriage Trail in Charleston, West Virginia|
The shady, wide trail leads from here for just over a half-mile down to an access road. It took me a leisurely hour to walk down.
|Sunrise Carriage Trail in Charleston, West Virginia|
Near the top, the governor’s ashes are buried beneath a monument to Isabelle MacCorkle, his daughter, which was vandalized and then replaced with a newer version, which unfortunately has also been vandalized and is missing its hands.
|monument to Isabelle MacCorkle near top of Sunrise Carriage Trail in Charleston, West Virginia|
Along the way is a marker commemorating where the bodies of two women were found during construction of the trail in 1905. It is said that they were executed here as spies, and their remains were reburied here under the marker. Legend has it that their ghosts haunt the hollow. Some of the unmortared short stone walls lining the trail have lovely tops engraved with leaves.
|stone engraved with fern on Sunrise Carriage Trail in Charleston, West Virginia|
At the base is a pleasant pocket park with a creek and a bench where you can rest and reflect.
|pocket park at bottom of Sunrise Carriage Trail in Charleston, West Virginia|
bottom entrance: Just over the South Side Bridge before Bridge Road.
top entrance: On Myrtle Road just before the entrance to the MacCorkle Mansion, also known as Sunrise Mansion.
More things to do in Charleston, West Virginia.
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images ©2019 Carole Terwilliger Meyers