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Old 01-27-08, 12:10 PM   #1
hodadmike
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SE Ohio question

Can any local riders tell me how bike friendly the Highway 7 is between Marrietta and Moundsville, WV? Would it be better to ride the South side of the river, on the 2 highway in WV?
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Old 02-01-08, 05:23 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by hodadmike View Post
Can any local riders tell me how bike friendly the Highway 7 is between Marrietta and Moundsville, WV? Would it be better to ride the South side of the river, on the 2 highway in WV?
Most of the locals here avoid the south side of the river. Of the two choices, go with Rt 7.

I've driven the Rt 7 side (Marietta to Moundsville) regularly. The road is in pretty good shape, overall.

Marietta to St. Marys, WV via Rt 7 is regularly cycled, and I've seen a few guys north to Moundsville.

There's at least one rest area, and several gas stations along the way.

I think the lack of a berm for most of it, and the 55mph speed limit could make for some excitement.
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Old 02-02-08, 12:15 PM   #3
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I think the lack of a berm for most of it, and the 55mph speed limit could make for some excitement.
Thanks for the tip, but it sounds like that route might have a little too much excitement. What I'm trying to do is find a connection from the Great Allegheny Passage (not the western terminus, but possibly Ohiopyle or Connellsville?) that will get me to the start of the Columbus Outdoor Pursuits "B route" start in Marrietta, OH.

We will be riding fully loaded touring bikes, and passing thru in mid-June. I'd like to avoid 55 mph roads and coal trucks if possible. I'm aware of some rail to trails between Morgantown, Clarksburg, and Parkersburg WV, but after a week or more of canal paths/rail trails, I think I'd like to hit the roads for a while. The North Bend Rail Trail sounds a little sketchy for loaded touring bikes, but would be better suited to mtn. bikes. Any suggestions?
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Old 02-02-08, 12:27 PM   #4
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North Bend Rail Trail is probably better suited to MTB. Yep. Did it last year on 2.95" hybrid tires. If you do it, bring lights for the tunnels. The tunnels are pretty wet, even during the "dry" season.

I don't know that you'd completely avoid coal trucks on any of the roads, as there are a slew of power plants along the Ohio, and inland.

My $.02 is that Rt 7 would be the quickest, flatest route between Moundsville and Marietta.

I'll ask around to see if any of the other folks in the area have ideas.

Feel free to PM.
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Old 02-03-08, 11:34 AM   #5
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Ohio Rt. 7

I live in St Marys, WV and find Ohio Rt. 7 to be biker friendly where I ride from Fly to Marietta. There is a paved berm to the right of the white line. Turck traffic is heavy during week days.

Stay off of WV Rt. 2. It is narrow with no paved berm and oten a very narrow gravel berm. There are many small towns to deal with also.

As to rail trails you will find the Mon River Trail, a good one from the WV state line above Morgantown that will take you to Fairmont. There is no trail connecting from PA. The rail bed is inplace to Point Marion but very rough, about a mile or so to the WV line. Once you leave Morgantown there are no services along the trail. There will be two flood control damns and several houses if you have an emergency need. About 7 miles in the Morgantown area is paved. The rest of the trail is very fine gravel and will be OK if DRY. If it is wet your heavy loads might dig in. The trail ends at Pricketts Fort State Park. From here there is the two mile MC Trail that will take you into the east side of Fairmont. It is paved even has a lighted tunnel!

Once in Fairmont you would have to ride the streets through town to the west side wher you can pick up the West Folk River Rail-Trail. The trail access is poorly marked. A portion of the trial is paved, about 1/4, then gravel to Shinnston where you ride streets through town to the end of the trail along Rt. 19 south of town. From there the roads are narrow with heavy traffic and no berms to speak of. I would not ride them!

The next rail trail along the West Fork River would be The Harrison County Hike and Rail-Trail from Spelter into Clarksburg. I tried to ride this trail on a MTB last fall and it is TERRIBLE. There is absolutely no access on the north end at Spelter. I rode up from the Clarksburg end and gave up as there was so many pools of water in the trail, edge to edge up to a foot deep! The trail is used by vehicles with no restrictions on access.

Falcon Driver has already commented on the North Bend Rail Trail. I agree with his comments and would not attempt to ride with a loaded touring bike on the eastern half. Rt. 50 is all four lane from Clarksburg to Parkersburg and parallels the bike path but it is posted at 65 MPH. Pennsboro to Parkersburg would be fine on the trail. You would have to ride streets to get through Parkersburg. They have a nice 4 lane bypass for Rt. 50 scheduled to open sometime this spring that would be a good route to bypass both Parkersburg and Belpre, OH.

I have extra brochures on all the above trails if you would like me to send them along.

Good luck on your ride!

Last edited by St_Marys_Rider; 02-03-08 at 03:56 PM. Reason: I typed left instead of right
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