Best Mountain Bike Trails Around The New River GorgeJuly 26, 2012
Do you mountain bike often? Yes? Want to give it a try? Yes? Then you need to get out and enjoy the trails we’re blessed with here in the New River Gorge. From easy old rail grades to technical single track, there’s plenty of biking to keep any level of rider entertained.
Riders From Mellow to Mad Men
The Arrowhead Trails are 13 miles of a stacked loop trail system designed by IMBA and built in collaboration with the National Park Service and the Boy Scouts. The beauty of the stacked loop system is that riders can create endless possibilities of trails that can be ridden in either direction. You can expect to find smooth single track with plenty of rollers and sweetly banked turns.
The Arrowhead Trails can also be linked with many other great single track trails in the immediate vicinity. This gives you a great mix of typical Appalachian rooty and rocky single track. For more information on how to access Arrowhead and to learn more about the trails that may fit your skill level, stop in at one of the local bike shops in Fayetteville.
Oak Hill is home to an awesome rail trail system perfect for a family ride. You can park in town and ride the trail a few miles in either direction for a great out and back mellow cruise. Bonus feature of this ride? There is an ice cream stand built into an old railroad car right beside the trail. Ice cream always makes for a great end to a family outing.
Also cool? For a different kind of ride, you can rent Surrey Bikes at the trail. Stop by the old Oak Hill Train Depot and hop on one of these family-fun cruisers.
The Southside Junction Trail that runs from Thurmond to Cunard, following the old railroad grade of the New River, is a great scenic trip. The ride is an easy 7 mile trip one way, and at any point you can stop and ease down onto the bank of the New River for a bit of relaxation, a refreshing dip in the water, or to just enjoy the view.
Not only do you have the beauty of the New River framing this trail, but there are also remains of old coal camps along the way. You’ll see coke ovens and some foundations and chimneys from old buildings and company houses. Combine this with the lush forest and mountain streams of the Gorge, and you have yourself one scenic bike trip.
The Cranberry Glades are located within the Monongahela National Forest, about 45 minutes from the Gorge, and offers miles and miles of steep, rocky, rooty big mountain riding. From fire roads to steep single track, you can find a ride to fit your skill level.
Our recommendation? The Cowpasture Trail. Roughly an 8 mile ride, it’s a great combination of single track and old rail grade through very diverse terrain.
No matter what your skill level, we have a trail around the Gorge to suit you. Just get out and enjoy yourself!
Where do you like to ride in the Gorge?