New River Gorge Mountain Biking

New River Gorge Mountain Biking

Most people think rafting and rock climbing when it comes to New River Gorge. But there’s another game in town. For almost a decade, the National Park Service has teamed up with local governments, organizations, and businesses to expand mountain biking in the area.

The result? A trail network that makes a trip south more than worth the three and half hour drive. There are multiple riding areas to explore, and the Arrowhead Trails just outside of Fayetteville is a great place to start. 

West Virginia is famous for its technical trails, and while Arrowhead won’t disappoint on that front, the trails here are approachable to beginner and intermediate riders. According to the NPS, more than 1,000 members of the Boy Scouts national honor society created this stacked loop system in just a few months in 2011. The 13 miles of trails took 78,544 hours to build, making this one of the largest youth service projects in NPS history. 

There are three main loops: a pair of easy one- and three-mile loops and a longer six-mile intermediate loop. What makes the Arrowhead system so accessible? There’s less than 200 feet of elevation change on these trails, so you get more rolling than winch and plummet riding. And while the trails have small obstacles, roots, and rocks, overall there’s a lot more flow than jank. Cruise through sweet rhododendron tunnels (blooming late June and early July), swoop down tree slaloms, and even score glimpses of the gorge below. The trails are well-marked and work in both directions.

The locals are constantly developing new trails outside the purview of the NPS. Currently the other main trail system, Wolf Creek, has about 15 miles of trails. The Fayette Trail Coalition maintains these trails and is working on an additional 50 miles in the next few years (check their Facebook page for volunteer opportunities). 

Recommended Ride

The Dalton Loop is a great introduction to the area. This seven-mile loop is not very technical, but is narrow and full of tight turns and quite a few well-built switchbacks. Park at the Arrowhead Trail parking area off Kaymoor Road. Ride back up the parking lot entrance and turn left at the Dalton Trail intersection to go counterclockwise. Turn left at the intersection with Craig Branch Road at mile 4.6 and a right at mile 5.4 back on Dalton and finish the loop. 

Getting There

In Fayetteville, turn left on Court Street and then the left at the Y intersection on to Gatewood Road. Right after the Arrowhead Bike Farm and Campground, turn left on Kaymoor Road, then a right on Arrowhead Road.

Where to Eat

Fayetteville is a small town with big-city food. Wanderlust Creativefoods is a genre-defying restaurant that serves cuisines from all over the world: Mexican, Phillipino, Peruvian, Indian, Spanish, American. The menu is full of surprises and changes regularly.

All articles are for general informational purposes.  Each individual’s needs, preferences, goals and abilities may vary.  Be sure to obtain all appropriate training, expert supervision and/or medical advice before engaging in strenuous or potentially hazardous activity.