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  1. #1
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    Gotta do trails Virginia and WV

    Gonna be doing a road trip through the mountains of Virginia and West Virginia in August. I'd like to check out the "must do" trails in these areas that'll put a smile on my face.
    I typically ride the trails in Pisgah and DuPont in North Carolina to give an idea of what I like to ride.
    The Davis and Canaan area in WV seem to be on many peoples lists of great riding spots...where else?

  2. #2
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    In my opinion, the area around Snowshoe is better. Gauley mountain (near Elk River Touring Center) has tons of trails, as do trails leading from the Cranberry Visitors Center. These are must do areas.

    If you can, hit North Fork Mountain and Huckleberry trails near Seneca. North Fork is amazing, but unless you're in great shape, it's a shuttle ride.

  3. #3
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    While in VA check Douthat SP, and GWNF - go to Harrisonburg, stop by SBC for ride suggestions,
    and buy the nat geo maps for So. Traverse, Reddish Knob, Hankey --> Dowell's Draft, Braley Pond, Narrowback, etc.
    (The area can be very remote, and at times confusing.)

    In addition to the WV suggestions, check out New River Gorge. It's a cool town with a growing trail network,
    plus the Arrowhead Trail - 13 miles of new singletrack handbuilt by 1700 Scouts in just 2 weeks.

    Take pix, and share your trip.
    The best is the one you want to ride most often..

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the feedback. I'm looking into all these areas.

    If you had to put them in "gotta absolutely do" order, what would it be?

    What are the trail names at Gauley Mountain and Cranberry Visitors center? Can't find anything here in MTBR trail reviews.

  5. #5
    CrgCrkRyder
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajzagel View Post
    Thanks for the feedback. I'm looking into all these areas.

    If you had to put them in "gotta absolutely do" ord er, what would it be?

    What are the trail names at Gauley Mountain and Cranberry Visitors center? Can't find anything here in MTBR trail reviews.
    I don't get over there as much as some others on here, but Bear Pen and Red Run are two popular trails off of Gauley Mountain trail (Scenic Highway 150 northwest of Marlinton). Props Run can be added on if you shuttle and come out at Elk River Touring, they will be your best source of information on those trails.

    Near Richwood and I believe the Cranberry Visitors Center referenced earlier is Kennison Mountain trail, my favorite of all the trails in that area.

    Slatyfork trails are a lot of fun, but rough and kind of hard to navigate. Davis WV trails are similar but with less vertical and better signage.

    If you get to Douthat make sure you ride Middle Mountain trail for a sweet ridgetop ride and Brushy Hollow for a great downhill.

    The Roanoke area has a lot of good back country style riding to go along with the more civilized Carvins Cove trail network. Dragons Back, newly opened Price Mountain, Fort Lewis Mountain are a few.

    Have fun where ever you end up.

  6. #6
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    Not sure if you're into this type of riding, Ski resort opening open for mountain biking this summer
    Bryce Resort- New Mountain Bike Park
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    Not sure if you're into this type of riding, Ski resort opening open for mountain biking this summer
    Bryce Resort- New Mountain Bike Park
    Looks interesting. I was thinking of checking out Snowshoe also...but at $40 a head, its getting kinda pricey.

    Do Snowshoe or Bryce Resort charge the same if you don't use their chairlifts and instead pedal up the mountain?

    Also, my biggest bike is the same as one of yours, 2012 Stumpjumper Comp 29er. Will it be able to handle it?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajzagel View Post
    Looks interesting. I was thinking of checking out Snowshoe also...but at $40 a head, its getting kinda pricey.

    Do Snowshoe or Bryce Resort charge the same if you don't use their chairlifts and instead pedal up the mountain?

    Also, my biggest bike is the same as one of yours, 2012 Stumpjumper Comp 29er. Will it be able to handle it?
    No idea, haven't been there.
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  9. #9
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    Spruce knob - Huckleberry trail is one of my favorite rides anywhere. Gotta LOVE rocks though...

  10. #10
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    Thinking of camping at either Blackwater or Canaan Valley State Park for a couple of nights.

    Are the trails in Canaan State Park worthwhile?

  11. #11
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    Canaan State Park has a small network of beginner to intermediate trails. You can pick up the Allegheny trail from there and it's a short but tough hump up to the Canaan Mountain back country where Plantation and a lot of sweet technical singletrack is. Blackwater Falls State park is a better place to camp. You can park your vehicle and get just about everywhere by bike. There are great trails in the park, plus easy access to Davis and the CVI trail network. It's also a hump up Canaan Mountain to the Plantation area, but lots of trail options there.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajzagel View Post
    Looks interesting. I was thinking of checking out Snowshoe also...but at $40 a head, its getting kinda pricey.

    Do Snowshoe or Bryce Resort charge the same if you don't use their chairlifts and instead pedal up the mountain?

    Also, my biggest bike is the same as one of yours, 2012 Stumpjumper Comp 29er. Will it be able to handle it?
    Snowshoe has some XC trails but I hear they are rarely used anymore. If you want to do any of the lift serviced trails you would need to pony up the $40. On a Stumpjumper you could do the green and blues run which are mainly flow trails with table tops. Once you start getting to the blacks you would want a bigger bike and if you plan to do the double blacks you're really going to want to look at renting a DH bike.

    Bryce isn't open yet so no one really knows unless they have been part of the build project. It looks like from the pictures they have a fair amount of terrain that would be good on a Stumpjumper. They also offer a $24 evening pass going from 4pm-8pm which would be a good budget ride. I plan to make some camping trips to the Shenandoah area and do XC rides in the morning and then go to Bryce after 4pm to get my DH fix.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajzagel View Post
    Looks interesting. I was thinking of checking out Snowshoe also...but at $40 a head, its getting kinda pricey.

    Do Snowshoe or Bryce Resort charge the same if you don't use their chairlifts and instead pedal up the mountain?

    Also, my biggest bike is the same as one of yours, 2012 Stumpjumper Comp 29er. Will it be able to handle it?
    If you are thinking about the Canaan Valley area, Timberline has lift-served DH trails also. I know from experience they have no issues with you pedaling to the top. You can ride a fire road up the backside, then cut onto the ski slopes and pick any number of their DH trails down. It's 1000 feet of vertical from top to bottom. The trails are all tech - nothing machine built. Lots of rocks, drops, and steeps. A hardtail stumpy is a good bit less than ideal though for the DH trails.

  14. #14
    CrgCrkRyder
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    Canaan is getting on out there away from the Davis area (kind of the trail center). My buds like to stay at RestRite Campground on the way into Blackwater Falls State Park. It is private and pre-internet but close to Davis.

    Yellow Birch Trail I think is in Blackwater Falls park and all of our crew likes it. Splashdam, a new trail right on 32 just back towards Davis from Plantation trail is probably finished by now and is pretty cool. It almost links the Plantation network with the CVI network. I have some threads on here with lots of pics from all of those trails if you are interested, just let me know and I will look them up.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyin_W View Post
    While in VA check Douthat SP, and GWNF - go to Harrisonburg, stop by SBC for ride suggestions,
    and buy the nat geo maps for So. Traverse, Reddish Knob, Hankey --> Dowell's Draft, Braley Pond, Narrowback, etc.
    (The area can be very remote, and at times confusing.)
    Those and add Big Schloss to the list, the views are just spectacular.

    Gotta do trails Virginia and WV-img_1113.jpg

  16. #16
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    Elliott's to Crawford's and down Chimney Hollow on 250 outside of Harrisonburg. Biggest ride around. SUPER steep, rocky, fast. Might be impassable by then.

    Snowshoe is worth every penny. I rode everything there last year on an Enduro. Put 2.5" tires on your bike, tubeless, way low and you'll be fine. The blue trails will absolutely kill you with fun. You'll think it was a bargain at $40.

    Massanutten has some AMAZING trails on the east side of the 'burg. Kaylor's is amazing, 2k hrs and all the rest are super fun and difficult. Amazing views.

    All of the trails around the SM100 course (mtntouring.com) are fun with different ways to link them based out of Todd Lake campground in the GWNF. That time of year, a TON of people will be down there riding the SM100 course cuz the race is in September.

    Big Bear lake has fun trails too...

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailbildr View Post
    Massanutten has some AMAZING trails on the east side of the 'burg.
    Agreed - these trails are AWESOME! Are they open to the public outside of the Hoo-Ha race?
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  18. #18
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    Thanks for all the trail input from everyone. Its looking like the first part of the trip will be concentrated in the Davis area since there seem to be so many options for different skill levels and other things to do. Speaking of...is the via ferrata at Nelson Rock a "must do"?

  19. #19
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    Called up Timberline ski/mountain bike resort near Davis yesterday. Discovered that its mandatory to wear a full face helmet! A DH specific bike was also recomended for these trails.
    I was a bit surprised since the trail videos didn't look to bad. Especially since the big jumps had ride arounds.

  20. #20
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    Most all the trails have some pretty steep and tricky sections that you can't ride around. There are lots of rocks - loose rocks/baby heads abound. None of the trails are smooth flow tails - it is all natural hand-cut singletrack.

    That said, there are some easier ways down. I ride my 6" travel trail bike to the top using Forest Road 80, and make my way down some of the easier trails like Doc's Revenge and Zinger. I wear a normal helmet, but carry pads up with me for the downhill. I guess they require the full face if you are going to ride the lift. It would certainly be more fun on a DH bike if you have one - no rentals unfortunately.

  21. #21
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    Look into camping at Seneca Shadows near Seneca Rocks, WV. You can ride the IMBA Epic trail from Spruce Knob (Huckleberry Trail etc) back down to pavement just a short distance from the campground.

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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampboy62 View Post
    Look into camping at Seneca Shadows near Seneca Rocks, WV. You can ride the IMBA Epic trail from Spruce Knob (Huckleberry Trail etc) back down to pavement just a short distance from the campground.

    Steve Z
    This is on my list of trails to ride. I've read about how rocky the Huckleberry trail is and have concerns about getting beat up and spit out. How long does it take to the the single track part of the loop out to Judy Springs and around?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by repoman View Post
    Most all the trails have some pretty steep and tricky sections that you can't ride around. There are lots of rocks - loose rocks/baby heads abound. None of the trails are smooth flow tails - it is all natural hand-cut singletrack.

    That said, there are some easier ways down. I ride my 6" travel trail bike to the top using Forest Road 80, and make my way down some of the easier trails like Doc's Revenge and Zinger. I wear a normal helmet, but carry pads up with me for the downhill. I guess they require the full face if you are going to ride the lift. It would certainly be more fun on a DH bike if you have one - no rentals unfortunately.
    Is Doc's Revenge and Zinger more fun than the trails in Canaan and Davis? Does Timberline charge a fee if you pedal to the top?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajzagel View Post
    Is Doc's Revenge and Zinger more fun than the trails in Canaan and Davis? Does Timberline charge a fee if you pedal to the top?
    Well depends what you like. Both Zinger and Doc's are DH trails that will take probably no more than 10 minutes to negotiate - much less if you're an experienced DHer. Of the 2, Zinger is the most fun.

    The Davis trails can be all day affairs. You can spend hours riding rough technical singletrack off Plantation Trail. The race course over in the old CVI property has more great trails. It's easy to put together 30+ mile routes that will take all day to complete. If you prefer tough back country trail riding, the Davis trails are hard to beat.

    At Timberline, you can pedal up for no fee. You can ride up the green ski slope Salamander to the top. Personally, I prefer to ride from the resort base south to pick up Forest Road 80 and ride it to the top. FR80 leads to some nice singletrack that accesses the ski slopes, and the DH trails. It takes me 30 minutes or so to ride to the top of Timberline via this route.

    If you are making a day of it, I'd stick with the Davis trails. I mix in Timberline when short on time, and use the FR*) climb for fitness and a nice DH run to top things off. I not a great fan of riding laps up the ski mountain (1000' vertical).

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