There’s no sport more wild than mountain biking! It requires ironclad willpower and a strong desire to succeed in the face of adversity — because there’s nothing but adverse conditions along all but the most basic of mountain biking trails. And you’re in luck in West Virginia, because our beautiful state is rugged, mountainous, and difficult to traverse when you’re not sticking to paved roads. These are the best places for mountain biking in the WV wilds.
If you’re looking for a more family-friendly “bike” ride instead of an off-the-beaten path excursion, then head to the C&O Towpath, Harpers Ferry, or Shepherdstown. These each have relatively flat tracks appropriate for all ages and skill levels — and they’re beautiful as well.
For those looking for literal mountain biking, there is no end to the possibilities.
Advanced bikers should head to the North Fork Mountain Trail, Plantation Trail, Table Rock Trail, or Douglas Falls Rail Trail.
Expert bikers should head to the Timberline Trail or Thomas City Park and Trails.
Intermediate bikers should head to the CVI Trail, Daily Sods North Trail, Blackwater Falls State Park Trail, or Dobbin House Trail.
Most of the highest ranked mountain biking trails in West Virginia are situated in Canaan Valley, so feel free to begin your search there!
There are several tips to keep in mind, even if you’re an expert mountain biker. Always take maps of the trail, extra water, extra food, a compass, and whistle. While other bikers probably won’t race toward the sound of a whistle, it could help alert rescuers to your location if you get injured too far away from a road and have to be lifted out. Before heading off into the wilderness, always be sure your bike is ready for the trip. You bring your car to the mechanic every once in a while for a tuneup, right? Treat your bike the same way!