New River Gorge Mountain Biking
Be sure to bring your bike with you. West Virginia was named by Mountain Bike Magazine as one of the top five biking destinations in the country. This area has a variety of trails, from rolling fire roads, to treacherous, rocky, wet, technical single track.
UPDATE! Thanks to a partnership between the National Park Service and the Boy Scouts of America, a new 13 mile trail network was completed in the summer of ’11. The Arrowhead Trail System was designed by the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) and is the first mountain bike specific trail network in the area. Located right next to Roger’s Rocky Top Retreat Campground (now defunct). This network allows you to put together a variety of loops on trails that are beautifully built, well drained, windy, and packed with whoopti-do’s and banked turns. And, unlike most of the riding around here, no monster climbs!
The biking scene in Fayetteville is on a big upswing: new trail development galore and a surge in local rider psyche have led to more activity.
We are fortunate to have two terrific bike shops in town that offer loads of choices in bikes and gear as well as mechanics to help you out of a jam. New River Bikes is owned and run by Andy, a bonafide singlespeed racing badass. Adam, another super-speedy local badass owns and runs Marathon Bicycle Company. He is always ready to share his huge psyche and his intimate knowledge of the local trails. You can rent time on one of his workbenches if you want to wrench on your own bike.
A number of good rides leave right from town. The Town Trails, as they are known, offer fun singletrack sections you can put together for varying length rides. The trailhead is right behind the new skatepark in the Fayetteville Town Park.
A fun, moderate trail, Southside Junction, starts in the old mining town of Thurmond, and runs ten or so miles to Cunard where you can pick up the Kaymoor Trail and ride nine more miles to Fayette Station Rd., right below Fayetteville. Great views of the river without much technical difficulty. Trail info here.
Summersville Lake offers miles of fast singletrack. Stop by New River Bike and Skate for a map–it can be confusing.
Babcock State Park is not to be missed. Again, terrific singletrack with stunning panoramic views. Check out the Skyline Trail. Grab a map at the visitor’s center.
If you like to race, think about entering the New River Gorge Challenge, formerly known as Captain Thurmond’s Challenge, in August. Do it alone or as part of a team. Mountain bike 15 miles, paddle the New River Gorge, run 8 miles. Super fun! Lots of folks race just to finish, so couch potatoes of the world, let’s get going.
You’ll find good riding:
Little Beaver State Park Rocky. Difficult.
Kanawha State Forest Crazy technical and super-fun. just an hour. Worth it.
Elk River Touring Center at Slatyfork. Famous destination. 2 hrs.
Canaan Valley one of the original biking hotspots. 3 hrs.
Snowshoe Resort Downhill! Crazy fun. 2+ hrs.
Douthat State Park (Virginia) Kind of like riding out west…long climbs. 2 hr.