I'm in West Virginia on vacation this week and decided to ride the rail trail from Morgantown down to Prickett's Fort near Fairmont. From where I got on the trail it was 23 miles down and then 20 back to where I arranged to meet my wife.
The trail is beautiful. You ride with the Monogahela River on one side and beautiful woods on the other. There are several scenic vistas where you can see up and down the river nestled between hills. And there three navigational locks along the way.
You ride right up to Prickett's Fort, which my ancestors helped to construct and fortify in the late 18th century.
So I set out on a warm morning that turned into a hot, humid day. My legs felt sluggish right off the bat, but I thought they would warm up. They did a bit, but I lacked energy the entire ride. I've been riding a lot in 2nd cog front, 6th gear back (8 speed rear) recently and frequently maintaining 15 mph on trails. Not today. Not 15, not 14, and couldn't even hold at 13 for long. Spent most of the day diddling along at 11.5-12.5 in 4th gear.
Started to turn back at the 15 mile mark, with 12 back it would have made 27. But after a break, I kept going and gradually completed my 43 mile ride at the slowest pace I've ridden in 3 months. As it was my 2nd longest ride ever, I still feel good about it. At least I stuck to it. But wouldn't brag about it, as the speed was embarrassing.
I drank a lot of water before leaving and then consummed about 20 oz on the way down. Got there, couldn't pee. While at the fort, I drank another 36 oz or so, which included a Gatorade. Still no pee. When getting back to Morgantown (more than 2 hours later), still no pee. Had to drink another quart of water before I finally went for the first time in 10 hours. This was interesting to me - if not to anyone else. Who needs bathrooms on a hot summer day???
Highly recommended trail. Mostly gravel, but a nice, fine gravel. Very flat, even flatter than Wisconsin trails. Would love to ride in Autumn, when the leaves are turning. Only negative, no facilites (like water or restrooms) between Morgantown to Fort Prickett (20 miles). I've never seen that long a stretch without facilities in Wisconsin.