From the mountains to the broad valleys of Randolph County, West Virginia, our varied forested terrain means nearly infinite biking possibilities. Miles of historic railroad beds converted into pedestrian pathways, gravel roads meandering through the Monongahela National Forest, and single track trails along Cheat Mountain are all options when riding here. A wide array of biking routes make it possible for families, solo-riders, cross county lovers of all ages and ability levels able to enjoy our beautiful landscapes.
Randolph County has a long history of railroads, many built to serve the logging industry of West Virginia. Because of this impressive legacy, Randolph County is home to a few rails-to-trails. Rails-to-trails are retired railroad lines that have been converted into multi-use trails. These trails are either paved or have a surface of dirt and gravel. Most of these rail trails have subtle grades making it perfect to put miles under your pedals.
The Allegheny Highlands Trail (AHT) follows the original route of the West Virginia Central and Pittsburg Railway built by Henry Gassaway Davis and his company in 1884. The trailhead starts at the historic Western Maryland railroad depot in downtown Elkins, which houses the Elkins Depot Welcome Center and the headquarter of the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad. The first few miles is paved and gravel bikes are perfect for this trail. For 24.5 miles, this exceptionally scenic trail provides panoramic views of the West Virginia countryside as it passes through small towns and rural farmland continuing to the small town of Parsons. Once here, you can continue onto the town of Hendricks and connect with the well-known Blackwater Canyon Trail to make the 10.5 mile ascent to the vibrant town of Thomas.
The West Fork Trail is a pleasant 22-mile point-to-point trail that snakes its way through a remote mountain setting following the West Fork of the Greenbrier River for most of its route. The trail begins in the small community of Glady. This is a great path for mountain bikes or hybrid bikes, backpacking, and horse-back riding. The trail surface is crushed limestone and is also nearly flat with an approximate 1% grade. The soothing rumble of the river complements the trail’s serene environment. Scenic wildflowers bloom along the trail in the spring and summer months, and glorious colored vistas will greet you in autumn as the days become cooler. The trail comes to an end at the town of Durbin. Just south of Durbin in the community of Cass, you can pick up another scenic rail-trail, the 77-mile Greenbrier River Trail.
Randolph County is the epicenter of biking in West Virginia. It’s the perfect launch pad to experiencing the best riding the state has to offer. Just twenty-five miles northeast of Elkins, Tucker County, home of Canaan Valley State Park and Blackwater State Park, is considered the mountain bike capital of West Virginia. Countless miles of world-class single-track riding can be found here. And, just fifty miles south of Elkins, is the nationally recognized Snowshoe Bike Park which features the largest trail system in the East with nearly 40 trails and 1500 vertical feet of descent. But, Randolph County has its own mountain biking options. Cheat Mountain, near Huttonsville, has a few single-track trails that make you feel as if you are in a totally different world. Dense mixed forest covered in bright spongy mosses, trees growing over boulders, and disappearing streams that run underground for miles, this area has the iconic West Virginia riding and backcountry trails you’ve been waiting for. Check out the nearby Mower Tract for some exclusive riding among the largest Red Spruce communities south of Maine. Seneca Creek backcountry also has various hardcore backcountry trails for the riders looking for a challenge.
The Monongahela National Forest has hundreds of miles of trails and back roads for you to explore. One of the thrills of biking is opening up a map and choosing your route. Rolling hills, rivers, valleys, forests and scenic landscapes all provide some of the most breathtaking views in Randolph County while riding. Plenty of gravel and paved roads are waiting to be explored. If you want to get a locals opinion, stop by Joeys Bike Shop in downtown Elkins for some suggestions of nearby routes or check out the Highlands Trail Foundation website for some different rides.