Again, the distance really depends on which trail you choose to ride. Because of the variety of trails, your ride can be as long or as short as you’d like.
Destination Distance From Downtown
3 of 5 diamonds
ACE has plenty of trail options for mountain bikers, so you can find something of any length to suit your skill level. Because you can choose your own trail, riding with ACE is perfect for beginners and experts alike.
Time To Complete
Time will depend on which trail you choose to ride. ACE has options that run from 2 hours to all day.
Spring, Summer, and Fall
ACE's mountain biking packages are offered from March through November. If you are interested in getting a better view of the historic areas, it would be best to go in late fall to get an unobstructed view, sans foliage.
On Leash Only
Pets have to be on a leash no longer than 10 feet.
ACE's fees depend on the route you take, length of trip, and how many people will be in your party.
The 1,500-acre ACE Adventure Resort in the heart of the New River Gorge has a wide range of activities, including whitewater rafting, paintball, biking, camping, climbing, and SUP, to name a few. One of the most popular is mountain biking, and for good reason. The New River Gorge has plenty of mountain biking trails, and ACE will send you, along with a guide, to virtually any trail you want. Choose from the 2-Hour Mountain Bike Sampler, one of ACE’s half-day options, or go big with the All-Day Tour de Gorge 15-miler. From adrenaline-inducing singletrack to scenic historical rail trails, the Gorge has it all.
One of ACE’s half-day options is the Scenic New River Mountain Bike, which travels along the Southside Junction Trail in the heart of the Gorge. The ride is long and flat with few obstacles, which makes it great for beginners and riders of all skill levels. From the Thurmond Depot Visitor Center to the end of the trail in Brooklyn, an old mining town, the ride is 7 miles—14 miles round trip. If you don’t want to make the trek back, it’s possible to shuttle a car and have one waiting for you when you arrive in Brooklyn; the driving distance between the two lots is roughly 35 minutes.
What Makes It Great
Local history and speed make the Southside Junction Trail great. Begin in Thurmond, a historic railroad town once nicknamed “Dodge City of the East." The trail is one of 3 defunct rail lines sitting along the roaring New River, and it follows right along the river’s edge. After about a 1.5 miles the other lines drop away, and you hit the main portion of the trail, which takes you through the ruins of numerous old coal mining towns where you'll see buildings, foundations, and coke ovens just feet from the trail. One of the greatest things about this trail is that the railroad ties have been left exposed in many parts, providing some needed variety to an otherwise level path.
Since this trail is mostly flat, you can pick up some serious speed when you put the hammer down. It’s not often that you can maintain such a high rate on a mountain bike trail in southern West Virginia, but zipping by at more than 15 miles an hour is possible here. The surface throughout is hard packed dirt, and you can count every “hill”—each has an incline of less than 10 feet—on one hand. There are only a few technical spots, most of which involve maneuvering across a rail jutting out of the ground.
If you are looking for something a bit more challenging, remember that ACE offers that too. You can choose steeper and more rugged rides that will test your skills. The best way to decide which trail to tackle is to talk to the experts at ACE.
Who is Going to Love It
ACE Adventure Resort caters to all levels and ages of riders. Anyone interested in taking a ride through the beauty of the New River Gorge will be satisfied with the variety of options at the resort. It's a great spot to try mountain biking for the first time, hone your skills as a rider, or go out and challenge yourself.
History lovers, rail trail riders, beginning mountain bikers, and families will all love the Southside Junction Trail. The wide paths, packed dirt surface, and lack of hills all make this trail a great experience for all ages and skill levels. History lovers will be thrilled to see so many historic remains, many dating back to the 1920s.
Lastly, the trail is dog friendly; many locals walk their pooches here.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
To reach their facilities, take US 19 until you come to the East Main Street exit in the town of Oak Hill. Turn right off the ramp and take the first left onto Minden Road. There will be signs for ACE posted the remainder of the way—about 3 miles further. If you don’t have a mountain bike, you can rent one from ACE.
To schedule a ride or book a guide call (800) 787-3982.