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West Virginia Mountain Biking Hot Spots:
By Robin Brown Broughton
Located in Eastern West Virginia on US 219, the ski resort, which boasts a 4,848-foot summit, is a mountain biking playground. Snowshoe has 125 miles of trails designed specifically for mountain biking.
"These trails are not just ski trails used by mountain bikers. The trails are created with the mountain biker in mind. You don't have to worry about running into hikers or horseback riders," says Joe Stevens, director of communications. "Overall, there's a nice mix for everyone's enjoyment--from the beginner to the expert."
Snowshoe's mountain biking trails are divided into little sections--East Plateau, Cupp Run and Silver Creek--each like a little European country with its own personality. The trails are marked green (easy), blue (more difficult) and orange (most difficult). You'll need to grab a map and a trail pass at one of the mountain biking centers at the resort. Bike rentals and weekend lodging packages are available.
East Plateau is a great place for the intermediate to advanced rider looking for a good challenge. The Plunge, Nose Dive, the Gauntlet, Buck's Run, Spur, and Yabba Dabba Doo are some of the awesome trails you'll find here--all interconnected singletrack, all well-marked. These trails are rocky, not just sprinkled with rocks--the place is blanketed with them. You won't find yourself riding around the rocks. You will ride right over them because there's nowhere else to go! Riding on these trails can help improve your technical ability.
For some great downhilling (intermediate-advanced) try the Cupp Run area. Two favorites: Ruff and Tumble and Guthammer are appropriately named. Both are rocky, narrow and have surprise switchbacks and some really steep pitches. This is the get-behind-your-seat and remember-to-breath kind of stuff.
A good all-day ride at Snowshoe takes you to Bald Knob (one of the highest points around) and back. Getting there is a major climb but includes a ride through the old logging town of Spruce and past old fire watch towers. Novice riders can play on Cross Tie and other beginner trails, which include lots of winding singletrack and beautiful forest scenery.
For a weekend of mountain biking try the Get-in-Gear mountain bike weekend at Snowshoe. For more information, call 304-572-1000.
|| Snowshoe (top) || Slatyfork || Cheat Mountain || Canaan Valley ||
|| New River Gorge || Kanawha State Forest || Charles Fork Lake || Morgantown
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