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  1. #1
    Scalpel Fan
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    Dolly Sods or Smoke Hole?

    1) Is Dolly Sods completely closed off to mountain biking. I'm at my parents' house, who live within 12 miles.
    2) Is it marked no biking? (i.e. plea ignorance.)
    3) Is anyone familiar with North Fork mountain and the Smoke Hole area? I've hiked the Redman Run trail and Landis trail, but it has been quite a few years. I know Landis is not bikable, but is Redman Run? I remember some parts clearly OK for biking, but I'm not certain that all is. I'm not sold on this for biking anyway, due to the good chance of lots of down trees across the trail.
    4) I'd prefer not to go up to Canaan as it is quite a bit away and I'm just looking to sneak in a short ride prior to a family reunion. Plus, I have to drive across the mountain to get back to my hometown near Charleston that evening anyway.

    For reference, I'm a biker w/ 5 years experience, done a few races (two top 3 finishes in WVMBA sport class, a win in beginner), and I ride ~40 miles/week of aggressive, technical cross country in the Kanawha Valley area (Putnam County park, Kanawha State Forest, Little Creek Park).

    Thanks!

    - Quentin

  2. #2
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    Last I heard it Dolly Sods was not posted but that was a month ago.

  3. #3
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    Nubster - Thanks.

  4. #4
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    I recently heard that the Sods is now posted wilderness. As far as pleading ignorance . . . take your chances.

  5. #5
    I am the owl
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    Dolly Sods is posted, I was just there. And there was a lot of activity and people up there for a Monday.
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  6. #6
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    North Fork mountain is tough, but a sweet ride. From Smoke Hole there is a gravel road that goes straight up to the mid point of the ridge, from there you can ride south on the trail and get back to Smoke Hole on the road. Call Blackwater bikes for info on that one. I saw the biggest black bear ever there this summer.

    An alternative to Dolly Sods is to ride the area just to the south referred to as Flat Rock/Roaring Plains. Its a mix of smooth double track, insane rock gardens, and some more mellow singletrack. There are some incredible views along the main pipeline that bisects the area. With a USGS topo you can make a couple of loops using fire roads.

  7. #7
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    Go to the trail head of North Fork at Rt 33 (there is a fenced in antenna tower). Do the first 10 miles or so as an out and back. It is a great ride...

    Also, get over to Spruce Knob. It is around half the distance to the Davis trails and in my opinion a much better ride. I usually park where the road splits going up to the top of Spruce Knob, ride the road up and jump on the trail near the observation tower. I take it down so that I pop back onto the service road at the Seneca Creek trail head. Ride the road back to your car. It is a great loop.

    There is also a short loop at Brandywine Recreational area that is pretty good if you put in a couple/few laps...

    If you want more details send a PM. I live in NVA but have a cabin in Franklin, WV.

  8. #8
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    I ended up riding behind my parents' place (sick 1 mile climb that went over 400').

    pbayne and mpell - Thanks! I'll definitely hit those up this fall.

  9. #9
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    Oh Yeah,

    Forgot about Spruce Knob. That's one of my all time favorite rides! Many ways to make it long or short. Incredible place!

  10. #10
    I am the owl
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    Rode Spruce Knob Monday and Tuesday. Beautiful.



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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by riderx
    Rode Spruce Knob Monday and Tuesday. Beautiful.

    I was at that exact location in late June trying to meet up with some friends to go camping. I assume the trailhead you hit was the one right past the big S curve a couple miles past where you turn up to the observation tower? Is it still a muddy mess through there?

  12. #12
    song of the saw-whet owl
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    Huckleberry/Judy Springs/Seneca creek is one sweeeeeeeeeet ride on spruce knob! the top of the mountain state! Sux about the sods signage. I was pickin' blueberries in the Sods this weekend on my favorite trail there and realized it was the first time i was on it without a bike!

    Luckily there is still endless miles of mountain biking in canaan area, so if anyone is ever there and wants an epic tour including the best trails you will never find a map of gimme a heads up.
    just another piece of chaga

  13. #13
    I am the owl
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldnoob
    Huckleberry/Judy Springs/Seneca creek is one sweeeeeeeeeet ride on spruce knob!
    Yeah, we biked from camp up to the Knob and did Huckleberry --> Judy Springs --> Seneca Creek --> Tom Lick --> Allegheny --> Leading Ridge --> Elza --> back to camp on Monday. Sweet stuff except for the stuff that was trashed by hooves.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldnoob
    Huckleberry/Judy Springs/Seneca creek is one sweeeeeeeeeet ride on spruce knob! the top of the mountain state! Sux about the sods signage. I was pickin' blueberries in the Sods this weekend on my favorite trail there and realized it was the first time i was on it without a bike!

    Luckily there is still endless miles of mountain biking in canaan area, so if anyone is ever there and wants an epic tour including the best trails you will never find a map of gimme a heads up.
    Do you know of any group rides that I can hook up with in the Davis/Spruce Knob area. I have my cabin out there (Franklin) that I get to around once a month and find it difficult to coordinate with my riding friends here in VA on times to get them out to WV. I have no problem riding solo around here but rather not go alone in the more remote areas.

    I would like to take you on the epic tour sometime....

  15. #15
    song of the saw-whet owl
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpell
    Do you know of any group rides that I can hook up with in the Davis/Spruce Knob area. I have my cabin out there (Franklin) that I get to around once a month and find it difficult to coordinate with my riding friends here in VA on times to get them out to WV. I have no problem riding solo around here but rather not go alone in the more remote areas.

    I would like to take you on the epic tour sometime....
    every thursday in davis is the "ride at 5". just meet at blackwater bikes for the fun and you'll make instant friends with tons of friendly locals for sure!
    just another piece of chaga

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