After a two hour drive of anticipation, we pull into the parking
area where the unfamiliar trails were calling to us. We had heard
about these trails from a friend and wanted to try them. We decided
to take one of the two trails that emptied out of the woods right
near the parking area. Within the first 1/2 mile we realized it
would be best to ride up the paved road like the trail map described
and just do one of the recommended loops until we got familiar with
the area. Going in reverse on the trail we were not seeing the trail
After a mile or so of blacktop my Son and I were ready for some sweet
singletrack. We were not disappointed with some of the immediate
challenges. A few fast sections coupled with some rocks and small
stream crossings. Every short climb seemed to bring another slight
downhill with some fast sections before another rocky area and another
short climb. The trail was such a blast in the first few miles I didn't
even think to take any pictures which is unusual for me.
As we grew closer to the top of the ridge we came to one of the
steeper climbs on the trail so we took a short break and I finally
got got out the camera. Here Scott24 munches part of a power bar
just before making the climb.
I made the climb with ease and stopped to get a couple more shots
of Scott24 making the climb. Here he nears the top and kept right
on going past me. Then it took me a little time to catch him.
I knew this day would come. Just figured he would be older than 12
when it did.
Some distance later I was finally on his back tire again when we
came to an intersection that wasn't shown on the map. It appeared
they had blocked off the usual trail and directed us onto a newer
portion of singletrack likely used in the WVMBA race held here the
week before. We decided to take the new section and see where we
What a great section, it lead us through an awesome rocky area with
large boulders and technical manuvering to get through them. Although
it was short it was a great challenge for both of us. There was an
excellent spot, off a large flat rock with about an 18 to 20 inch drop
on the other side, for a wheelie drop. This was only the third time
out on my new HT, a Hardrock Sport Disc and I was pleasantly surprised
how it was handling. I usually ride my Giant AC.
Again, had such a good time through this short but fun section I didn't
stop to get a pic till I was through it and Scott24 was coming around
the last boulder. I was able to catch a little balancing act as he came
down around the boulder.
After that short section of boulder riding the trail led us into a row
planted pine forest. It was cleared between the trees and was a blast.
The trail zig-zagged around, through, back around, nice banked turns
and all this on a level plateau. After a few minutes of twisting and
turning we came to the edge of the forest at the top of an 80 to 100
foot cliff with an awesome view of a valley with the Mountains in the
background. Sorry there was a bit of fog that showed up bad in the
After taking a few pictures of the overlook, I turned and took a picture
of our bikes setting by the trail in the row pines.
Underway again, Scott24 gets a shot of Dad zipping through the pines.
After coming out of the twisting and turning trials through the pines
we were back in mountain laurel littered trails. Within a few minutes
we came to an awesome fast and somewhat technical downhill section.
What a blast ! It seemed to go on for a long time, however I'm sure it
only seemed that way because it was our first time on these trails. About
half way down the mountain a hard right turn led us onto a quite steep,
crazy fast downhill and then into a rocky hang on for dear life, nasty rocky
downhill. Man, I wished I had my FS Giant AC at that moment but the Hardrock
handled the beating well. Of couse I wasn't going to stop and take pictures
of this awesome few minutes. Just plain awesome is all I can say. As I
neared the bottom and a strembed I paused to let Scott24 catch up and get
some more pictures of him coming down the trail. However, by the time the
camera was operational he had already caught up. Now I can't even get far
enough ahead of him to get pics.
After getting back underway, the trail took us down that stream bed for a
while, then off the side of it, to a hard switchback and then to another
creek crossing. We were back to some nice smooth singletrack for a while
before getting back into some technical rock crossings, creek crossings,
and a few more small climbs. There were several nice technical challenges
along this portion of the trail.
The last portion of the 12 mile loop had some of the first log crossings
we had found. As we were nearing the end of the 12 mile loop the trail
goes through an open area that appears to have been dozed. We took a few
minutes to get a little air time off a nice launch point.
Since it just didn't feel like we had ridden about 14 to 15 miles total, we
decided to do another short loop trail before we called it a day. This
trail remined me so much of Kennison Mountain trail in Pocahontas County WV
with several rock bridges through swampy areas, riding under and around
mountain laural, over a few boardwalks and several stream crossings.
Had to stop at one point for this awesome view of the swamp we were riding
After about 18 to 20 miles of thrilling, unfamilar trails we were ready
to call it a day. We stood around the truck for a while giving each other
high fives and discussing, over a nice cold drink of apple juice, our next
ride at this place.
If you ever have the opportunity to ride the trails at Big Bear Lake near
Bruceton Mills, West Virginia, it is worth the drive and the $5.00 daily
fee to ride there.
I would suggest you at least do the 12 mile loop if nothing else. You can
add sections to make them longer or shorter as you decide. They have a
suggested 21 mile loop. Think we will do that one next time.