Sunday, October 27, 2013

Watters Smith State Park, WV

Man I finally made it out for a ride! I owe a post about the last ride I did back in August before starting grad school. In a similar tone, I went for a ride in between minis while we had a weekend off from school work. So I skipped town for a quick trip down south to Watters Smith Memorial State Park.

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The drive takes about two hours from Pittsburgh. I read a bunch of reviews online but didn't really find any suggestions for how to ride it so with a little trial and error I found out what worked for me. Here's a link to the map, linksy, and I included a picture below with red arrows showing the direction I went on each trail.

Pretty much head clockwise. The trail system is pretty awesome and the crew that maintain the trails does a seriously good job. The trails have a little bit of everything: great ridge riding on White Oak followed by a fast fun descent down the back side of White Oak and on into Hickory Loop. Burr Smith has a great extended climb (if heading clockwise) that passes the old Smith family cemetery followed by a seriously fast descent. I am a rock junky and loves my rocks, while the majority of the trail has very little rocks the Trick Track Trek had the fix I needed. I was smiling from ear to ear. Hit it from left to right. I hit it from both the right to left and from the left to the right and I think the guys designed it to be ridden from left to right. Very cool. here's a picture of the "Danger Zone" as they called it. For the rest of the ride I couldn't get Top Gun out of my head.

So here's the route I took (taking out the double backs and repeated sections)

Parked at the Activity Building (Unit 1 on map)
Warmed up with Fawn Trail to Black Cherry Trail
Pioneer to Oak Ridge to White Oak
Hang a right on White Oak and rode it Rachel Hershey so I could hit Trick Track Trek
Circled back on Rachel Hershey to connect with White Oak
**Hike a bike for a hot minute up White Oak** (I'm out of shape right now but that climb is a little steep)
White Oak to Hickory Loop
Right onto Hickory Loop
Left back onto White Oak, straight to White Oak Extenstion
Straight to Barnyard
Cross the road
Left onto Burr Smith (follow sign to Smith Cemetery)
to Burr Smith Extension
When you hit the rocks with orange arrows painted on them get ready for a fun downhill
Burr Smith down to the bottom, cross the road and stay on the main entrance road to the park
Off to your right is Dogwood Trail
Dogwood Trail back to the parking lot at the Activity Building

The trail was a ton of fun. I grinned the entire time. Great ridge riding on White Oak. Great downhill connecting White Oak to Hickory Loop. I'd ride that section over and over, well worth the drive. The rock garden? Ha, awesome. I had more trouble heading left to right, that was was seriously challenging. Right to Left you can hit everything without much trouble. Good work in that area guys! Burr Smith has a great climb and the park overall has great climbs and good tight single track. It's about 40 minutes from Elkins and probably just as far from Davis, so if you find yourself in that area then make sure to hit it.

Rachel Hershey
Trick Track Trek

Trick Track Trek rock ramp
White Oak

White Oak ridge

White Oak

Smith Cemetery
stream at the base of Burr Smith

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Monday, June 10, 2013

Tussey Mountain Ride

Oh snap. I hit Rothrock this weekend and bit off a little more than I could chew but enjoyed all of it. Ever been to Rothrock? It's time to go or you need to head back, which ever is your situation just head on back. I parked right here:

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Buy a Purple Lizard Map so you know where to go because these trails are remote when  you leave the parking lot. I did a big figure 8.
This is just the loop I did and I am not from the area, so this may not be the "right" way or the way the locals ride. I just grabbed the map, some gear, and headed out for an adventure and had an awesome time. Riding in this direction rode awesome. I was grinning from ear to ear (for the first part before bonking).

Park at Galbraith Gap Lot
Head out on the trail next to the gravel parking lot.

Gravel parking lot to trail next to the creek
Follow short trail up to Laurel Run Road (crushed gravel road)
RT onto Laurel Run Road. Climb for one left hand switchback.
As you approach the next switchback go straight off of the road onto 3 Bridges Trail

Go about 100 yards and you'll see this rock garden.

Yeah man, you're in for more where that came from.

3 Bridges Trail to Lonberger Path

Hang a RT onto Lonberger
This trail is awesome. Full of fast smooth trail and some awesome rock gardens to test your granite might.

Stay straight on Lonberger until it ends.
LT at the end of the trail to head toward Bear Meadows Road (the main road you drove in)
RT on Bear Meadows Road

Go up a little, just a little, and look for the Tussey Mountain Trail head on your left.
Start climbing.
You'll get to the ridge line eventually and it will flatten out to a 360 view
Stay on Tussey Mountain, no need to cut it short.

Take it all the way to the end and you'll find this guy:
And along the way you'll see a bunch of this:

Once you see the tree keg you've reached the end of the trail (in 2013, looks like the trail guys are expanding it).
Take Tussey Mountain Extension all the way down to Treaster Kettle Road.
LT onto Treaster Kettle Rd
RT onto Thickhead Mountain Rd
Straight onto John Wert Path

All the way out to Bear Meadows Rd.

**At this point you can hang a right on Bear Meadows to head back to your car. You could loop back and take Lonberger Path back to 3 Bridges and follow them back to your car. I should have done that but didn't. The next loop I rode but probably rode it "backwards." So follow this with caution**

At the end of John Wert Path hang a LT on Bear Meadows and follow it around for a little ways until you come down a big hill and see a double track and a gate in front of you at a right hand switch back. That double track is Detweiler Run Rd.

Around the gate, straight on Detweiler Run Rd
Follow it out to hang a RT on Thickhead Mountain Rd
Stop at McKinney Spring (highlight of this part of the figure 8)

Thickhead Mountain Rd to a RT onto Long Mountain
In this direction Long Mountain has a seriously steep section right at the start, just grit and bear it.
Long Mountain Trail all the way down to Alan Seeger Rd.
RT on Alan Seeger Rd
RT on Bear Meadows Rd.

It's 10 miles back to the parking lot on Bear Meadows Rd from the intersection of Alan Seeger and Bear Meadows. I know because I bonked hard and had to soft pedal back home. If you don't bonk as I did, then hop back on Longberger Path to hit some more trail on the way back to the car.

***Awesome ride!*** A little over 36 miles of serious goodness. Tussey ridge is an awesome trail. Come prepared for rocks and some amazing views and bring your climbing legs.

Happy Pedaling

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Georgia Camp

Went down to VA to attend a wedding and threw in a riding day on the tail end of it. Quick loop around Georgia Camp and Bridge Hollow.

Park at Braley's Pond off 250:

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-Head out of the camp ground area, RT on Braley Pond Road, RT on 250
-250 up a few miles till you see a trail head marker on your left, take that up to the ridge line. This is Georgia Camp. Follow the yellow blaze up to the top.
-Hang a right at the fire road up top.
-Cross 250 - Take a look at the Confederate Breastworks historical site. The Road Hollow trail is off to the right behind the restrooms next to the parking lot. YELLOW blaze.
-Take the trail about a mile-ish
-Right to Road Hollow toward Braley's Pond
-Hit the bottom, cross the creek, head up Bridge Hollow toward Braley's Pond
-Follow Bridge Hollow to the top, hang a right to head back down to Braley's Pond

Awesome ride. Road Hollow is one of my favorite descents in that area. Good mix of off camber, skinny trails, rocks, roots and drops. Gooood riding.

Happy pedaling.