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New River Gorge
By Robin Brown Broughton

World famous for its white water rafting, rock climbing and mountain biking is the New River Gorge area. Ride along the ridge of the New River Gorge, often called the "Grand Canyon of the East," looking down some 1,000 feet at rapids crashing along the rocks of the New River.

"For people who are used to finding adventure at Walt Disney World or King's Island, this is just incredible," says Mark Ashley, co-owner of Ridge Rider Mountain Bikes in Fayetteville. "Most of our customers come from Ohio, Indiana, Michigan...They see the excitement of mountain biking in the Mountain Dew commercials and come here to find it."

Bikers can pick up maps or sign up for tours at Ridge Rider Mountain Bikes. Biking, rafting, climbing and horseback riding packages are also available.

Riders can start at the bike shop for the popular Kaymoor to Thurman trail, a great ride for all skill levels. Along the way you'll ride on an old strip mine bench to the town of Thurman, an abandoned town, which was at one time one of the busiest freight stations on the C&O Railway System and home of the world's longer poker game (14 years!).

Another great ride for the more advanced mountain biker is Lansing Trail, a rocky technical singletrack trail canopied with rhododendron. Maneuvering over big rocks while ducking through the thick vines proves very challenging. For more information, call Ridge Rider Mountain Bikes at 304-574-2453 (BIKE).

Snowshoe || Slatyfork || Cheat Mountain || Canaan Valley
New River Gorge (top) || Kanawha State Forest || Charles Fork Lake Morgantown

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