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Hey AV!! Trails Heaven

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All I have to say is that the Hatfield-McCoy Trails Heaven has to be one of the most awesome places I have ever ridden. We were ready to hit the first ECEA race down around your neck of the woods but it was cancelled. So it was my buddies idea to head there. Glad I did!!! :D

There are four different trail heads (systems). We picked the Browning Fork Trails (RockHouse Trail Head) http://www.trailsheaven.com/browningmap.htm

There are about a 100 miles of trails in there. We found a rental in Gilbert W.V. which is south of the trail head. I believe there are several Motels, House Rentals, and Camp grounds in the area of this system.http://www.trailsheaven.com/areainfo.cfm


This is the link to the rental we had. It is on top of a ATV Cycle shop called Mountaineer Motorsports. Tim and Cherie are the owners. I wasn't introduced to them, but my buddie met up with them. He said they were the nicest and most helpfull people he has ever met. The rental is right behind the police station and has access to the trail system. The rental was spotless and had plenty of room with 2 decent sized bed rooms, bath, kitchen with full appliances, living room, and a large balcony all for $60 a night. Cheaper combined rates for longer stays.

Several people were going but they ditched out at the last moment (sucks for you guys :D) so we lost the trailer we were going to take. We ended up throwing the bikes in the back of the truck and were concerned about leaving them outside over night. Thoughts of very expensive race bikes walking away at night will give ya nightmares. :D

But Tim and Cherie assured us that they have never had an incident and if it bothered us we could keep our scoots in the shop. Now how cool is that!!! :D

If you are planning on heading out there call well in advance for the rentals and for the permit. I was told that right now is the off season, but I was under the impression that there is a limit to the tags.

I couldn't believe you could get a full days worth of riding for only $15. That is just insane!!!! :D Seven day is only $35.

This is one of the best parts of the entire trip. IT IS LEGAL TO RIDE YOUR DIRT BIKE OR ATV ON THE ROAD!!! No joke. With a permit you are legal to ride on the road to get to the trails in the entire Hatfield-McCoy system. Actually we didn't get our permits ahead of time, so we road down to the Trail office to pick up our permits. On the way we passed a cop. Well later in the day after talking to some locals, we found out that it is only legal to ride on the road with a permit. No permit and you are looking at a $700 fine. :D :crazy:Wish I knew this before we passed that cop earlier...

Trail difficulty and Safety:

Everyones opinion is going to be different here. First off I'm a upper B-class rider with a run and gun riding style. Technical terrain is not a problem as long as the throttle is pinned. Although I ride mostly motocross, lately I have been taking my skills into the woods with really good results although somtimes I still run into problems in really tight slow terrain.

I have'nt ridden for three months because of the snow here, plus over this length of time I have performed a ton of mods and new parts to my scoot.

So to sum it up, I was rusty, I was uncomfortable with the bike, and the terrain was alien to me. Not a big confidence builder.

The Browning Fork Trails terrain consisted of a rocky clay base. It ranged anywhere from intermediate to full on solid rock.

The trail system is rated almost like a ski resort.

Green Trails =easiest

Blue Trails = more difficult

Black Trails = most difficult

Orange trails = single track

Green Trails,

the entrance to the trail system from Gilbert is supposedly a easy trail. But first time up, you find your self zig zagging vertically up the mountain trying not to look too much off the side of the trail because it is a serious drop off, you start wondering how insane the other trails are going to be. It takes a little getting use to at first, but you will relax, even though the sudden drops off the side of the trails are always in the back of your mind.

Once use to the terrain, you will find the green trails pretty fun. They are not as vertical as the other trails, and for the most part they are not as rocky. Although they are at a lower base of the mountain and some of them contained alot of mud and water in some sections. Trail numbers 12 and 16 were wet, but you could go around it for the most part. Actaully I had a ball on these trails.

All the green trails are SHARED trails so keep this in mind when traveling.

Also no matter what trail you are riding, definitely look ahead and pay attention to the bends and turns. Almost all of them are flat turns and a large amount of them come up on you fast and will not allow for any mistakes. Over shoot one, well you don't want to over shoot one. :)

All the trails range from as wide as a quad to as wide as a residential street.

Blue Trails,

These contain more vertical ups and downs compared to the green trails. They also have alot steeper inclines and drops. You will find more rocky terrain here both loose and solid, but alot less water and mud, save for a few small stream crossings. Trails 26, 27, and 34 were sweet!!!! :D

You definitely want to have good throttle and brake controll on a few sections of these trails.

Actually, definitely make sure you have plenty of pad on your brakes because you will be using them ALOT!!!

Black Diamond Trails,

Yes we ran them, no they are not impossible, but they have some serious inclines!!! :D We didn't come across anything straight up vertical, but they will point you towards the sky or the ground!!!

You will find alot of dry, loose rock, large solid rock and ruts, up and down these trails. Like I said, they are not impossible, but you better know your balance points and how to use the bikes controlls or you will get worked.

All I can say is pick your lines and go for it.

We did trails 24, 32, and a small part of 93, and 94.

Orange Trails,

I ride some tight single track in the pine barrens here, but these guys are insane!!!!! :D

It is not that you are bar banging around trees, its the fact that you are trying to follow a single track around the side of a very steep mountain. Hit something, loose traction, or just your balance and you are going DOWN.

We came up to the single track wondering what happened to the trail. My buddy who has alot more experience with this walked part of it to check it out. He had problems just trying to walk it. Needless to say we changed our minds.

You need some brass ones to ride that, or you need to be totally insane.

Trail Markings,

They are marked well, but do not leave with out a compass. It seems that sometimes the locals like to play tricks everynow and then by moving markers around. No fun for the tourist that doesn't know the area and has 2 hours of day light left with half a tank of gas!!! :D

bring a compass, you might need it, AND DON'T LOOSE YOUR MAP THAT THEY GIVE YOU!!! We got spun around for about three hours before we found some one who could tell us where we were at. It turned out that we came from the trail head and ended up doing circles about three miles away from it for three hours. Not the straight 40 miles or so back to Gilbert. We took the short cut by getting fuel and taking route 80 back to gilbert. Man, what a trip!@!!

Last but not least, Bring a camera or video with you. The scenery and the wild life will blow your mind.

Down right the best riding I have ever done. There will be another trip. I could only wish it was this next weekend.

As soon as I get my pics back I'll get them posted.

If you can do it, then get out there and check this place out. Actually it would be cool if we could set a ride up with a bunch of TT members out there. Just an Idea.

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Great write up, Glad to hear you like WV riding.

I still have to get my permit. I have stopped buy a couple of shops and they are out. They changed the permits this year to be good for 1 year from the date of purchase. Instead of being good until Dec 31st.

This state has great riding all over the place. The terrain in southern WV is fun but no the hardest by any means. I guess we are just used to the big drop offs on narrow trails. You should feel the pucker factor in a Jeep on a major off camber section with a 200' drop in the down hill side. Makes a tight trail on a bike a lot less hair raising.

Glad to hear you guys had a good trip! Someone definately needs to set up a TT H/M run this year. I know the guys/gals from the exriders forums set up runs several times a year. :)

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Crazythumpin - thanks a BUNCH! :D

Great writeup, I wanted to check TrailsHeaven out and also places like Tower City, Raush Creek and the Allegheny National Forest in Pa but don't have any real life reports from anyone so I didn't know which places to ride first (I would like to do them all if possible eventually). Need some easy/beginner trails too for me lady, can someone do a report on Pa riding parks/places from the link below? The following is a nice link for the riding area around Washington DC, the TTers in our area should set up a weekend/week ride or something like that as suggested... :)


If someone is to do a writeup of one of these places that he/she has been to, please include trail difficulty level, size of park, and amenities such as lodging, dining, scoot renting (if available), cost for the tag & fee, etc. Much appreciated guys - hope to meet up with you guys! :D

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