Randolph County is made up of numerous forest service roads and country roads where dirt and gravel are the only thing between you and the ground. Off road riding on an adventure bike on our backroads will take you through the Monongahela National Forest, over the mountains, and to some of the most remote places in Randolph County. The Randolph Rattler is all about the dirt and gravel.
Leaving Elkins you will go toward the historic town of Beverly on US250. Beverly was one of the first settlements west of the Alleghenies and dates back to the era of the American Revolutionary War. Over a dozen pre-Civil War buildings still survive and some are open to the public as museums, shops, or dining establishments. You can learn about the history of Randolph County at the Beverly Heritage Center.
In Beverly, take a left onto Court Street. This road is directly in front of the Beverly Heritage Center. At the post office, take a sharp left onto Lewis Street, and an immediate right onto File Creek Road. You will stay on this road for 2.5 miles. Turn left onto Mount Vernon Road and stay on this for a little over 3 miles until turning right on Bemis Road. Once on the gravel road, you will travel 6.5 miles over the mountain until reaching the town of Bemis.
The town of Bemis is a cool place to stop, especially near the bridge. You can check out the Shavers Fork River and depending on the day and temperature you might see people tubing, swimming, or fishing. There is also a small convenience store in Bemis called Calvin’s. As you reach the end of the town continue on Bemis Road to Glady for 2 miles. At the stop sign, you will continue straight on Bemis Road for a little over 2 miles until reaching Forest Road 422.
Stay on this gravel road for 2.5 miles until taking a slight right on Middle Mountain Road. Keep left to continue on Forest Road 423. Laurel Fork Campground will be on the left. Ginormous spruce trees shade the picnic and camping area. If picnicking is the way to go, this is the perfect spot to take a rest on your ride. The campground also has vault toilets available seasonally.
Continue on Forest Road 423/Dry Fork Road for 3 miles. Turn right to stay on Dry Fork Road. The well-known Sinks of Gandy is also on this road. There is a parking area just outside of the farm. You do have to climb over a barb-wire fence to walk down to the cave and it is on private property, but the owner let’s visitors hike down to view the attraction. Sometimes there are cattle grazing as well.
After your visit, stay on this road for 2.3 miles and turn right onto County Route 29 to Spruce Knob Lake. In a half mile, take a sharp right on Forest Road 1. In 2.2 miles Spruce Knob Lake will come into view. This is the highest lake in West Virginia and is absolutely breathtaking. We highly suggest stretching your legs on the 1 mile loop around the lake. There are also vault toilets available and a few picnic tables.
After your visit, head back on County Route 29 towards Whitmer. This gravel road will take you by one of West Virginia’s most pristine trout streams, Gandy Creek. The road meanders along the stream and on any normal day, you’ll see plenty of fishermen trying to catch a mess. You’ll be on this road for about 15 miles until reaching pavement again. Once on pavement, you’ll go through the small town of Whitmer, and make a right on Whitmer Road to go toward Job.
In Job, you’ll want to take a sharp right across the bridge to make a pitstop at Still Hollow Spirits for a small sample of West Virginia whiskey, bourbon, gin, or moonshine. It truly is a one-of-a-kind experience. After visiting the fine folks at the distillery, head back over the bridge and take a sharp left up the mountain to Rich Mountain Overlook before making a left on US33 W back to Elkins.
You are only about 18 miles from Elkins at this point of your adventure. It’s a nice and easy drive back over the mountains.