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West Virginia Mountain Biking HOT SPOTS:
By Robin Brown Broughton
Home of West Virginia University's Mountaineers, Morgantown offers some of the state's best mountain biking at Coopers Rock State Park.
Take Scott's Run, a fast singletrack downhill, and you're in for a very bumpy ride. Suspension forks are a plus in this rocky region of the state. Climb up to Rock City, a tight rock-strewn section that will test your technical abilities, and then ride back down to an old clay furnace, a perfect spot for a picnic lunch.
"Cooper's is rocky, diverse, challenging, gnarly--but at the same time can be gentle," says Ed Evans, owner of Whitetail Bicycles in Morgantown. "You can find everything from gradual to extremely intense. The northern part of West Virginia is blessed to have such a great place to ride, and mountain biking is way big here."
Evans' favorite trails include Raven's Rock Trail and Rhododendron Trail. For the expert rider, he recommends Mt. Chateau trail, which he calls "a double-triple black diamond downhill."
For the novice, local race promoter Alice Vernon also recommends Marilla White Park, which offers "smooth, twisty singletrack with short ups and downs." Both parks are accessible off I-79 near Morgantown.
The Henry Clay 30K mountain bike race will be scheduled for this fall.
For trail maps or more information, call Whitetail Bicycles at 304-291-2270.
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