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West Virginia Mountain Biking HOT SPOTS
By Robin Brown Broughton
This article originally appeared in the Bicycle West Virginia Adventure Guide. To receive a new guide, call 1-800-CALL-WVA. --Ed.
Whether you're standing in a bike shop in Crested Butte, Colorado, or Moab, Utah--mention West Virginia and you'll quickly find out just what type of reputation the state has for mountain biking. These people will tell you that West Virginia is one the best places to go for some serious off-road riding.
Chances are that even 3,000 miles away, you'll find mountain bikers who have ridden the trail in the Monongahala National Forest or have participated in the infamous 24 Hours of Canaan Race. The words "West Virginia" bring to mind images of steep mountains, challenging rocky terrain, endless downhills and breathtaking scenery. The state is also known for its open policy on mountain biking--allowing bikes on all public trails unless otherwise posted.
"The riding in West Virginia is very rewarding," says Greg Cook, Bicycle and trails Coordinator for the West Virginia Division of Tourism. "We have a lot of hills to climb, but at the top of every hill it's beautiful. There's plenty of thick vegetation and canopies--great for keeping riders out of the heat. And we have some the best singletrack trails, strewn with the kin of obstacle mountain bikers like."
West Virginia has been nationally recognized for its off-road riding--making the list of top mountain bike destinations and home of one of the best races (24 Hours of Canaan) in recent mountain bike magazines. In addition, Slatyfork's Prop Run has been hailed as one of the best downhills in the East and Snowshoe has been called the "Colorado of the East." If you're planning a mountain biking trip to West Virginia, you might want to check out some of these hot spots:
Snowshoe || Slatyfork || Cheat Mountain || Canaan Valley || New River Gorge || Kanawha State Forest || Charles Fork Lake || Morgantown
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