Coopers Rock State Forest - Mountain Biking

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Summary

Start your day out riding the mountain bike trails at Coopers Rock State Forest, and reward yourself with some bird watching and a long gaze off the overlook.

Written by

Carolyne Whelan

Distance

50.0 miles

While the park itself has an impressive 40 miles of registered trails, there is even more single track available to cruise.

Destination Distance From Downtown

133.1 miles

Difficulty

3 of 5 diamonds

Beginners won't feel overwhelmed here, but advanced riders can ride a bit deeper into the park to find some trails perfect for training for endurance or technical skill. Either way, you're bound to have a blast within your comfort level.

Time To Complete

5 hours

Coopers Rock packs a punch with lots of single track wound into a small forest. You can keep it simple with a 6-mile loop, or spend a whole day exploring.

Seasonality

All Seasons

While fall may bring pristine riding to the region, this State Forest allows hunting, so be sure to wear lots of orange and be aware of your surroundings.

Dog Friendly

On Leash Only

Fees Permits

No

Review

Intro

Coopers Rock State Forest is a park that keeps on giving, with almost 50 miles of single track with options for all skill levels. Whether you are just getting comfortable on two wheels or are ready to start training for your solo race at 24 Hours of Big Bear, Coopers Rock has what you need. There are 40 miles of marked trails, plus additional single track, so pick up a map at the gate and spend the afternoon exploring before rewarding yourself with a snack at the overlook. Lucky riders might even catch a hawk or two flying around.

What Makes It Great

Coopers Rock is one of the few parks that can be appreciated by all skill levels, making it a fabulous destination for families, shredders in training, and riders looking to improve their endurance and handling skills. There are a few beginner out-and-backs like Roadside Trail or Clay Run that can be used as a warm-up before turning off for more technical riding on trails like Libor, Ridge, or Rhododendron, depending on your skill level. There is even a section on the top of the ridge to practice rolling over logs, rocks, and jumps. Riders will enjoy flowy trails and lots of West Virginia’s signature punchy climbs and descents. There’s also camping options available for tents, RVs, or cabins, and plenty of nature to observe. For an exceptional view of the canyon, riders of all skill levels can soar down Raven Rock Trail that ends with a short climb that is worth the effort. In the spring and early summer, riders will be among the blooming rhododendron and mountain laurel, and in the fall the foliage turns on full blast.

Who is Going to Love It

Intermediate riders will love Coopers Rock State Forest for the seemingly endless single track. There are only a few trails that are “black diamond” so the majority of this forest can be handled by anyone who is comfortable on a mountain bike, so long as you execute some amount of caution and know your personal limits. Riders looking for a good training ride will appreciate the amount of climbs available within such a compact area, making is a great place to hit up for a couple of hours after work. There is also a nice area on the ridge to practice bike handling skills.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

Take I-68 and get off at Exit 15. From the East, take a left; from the West, take a right. Follow the signs for Coopers Rock and park in the first lot on the right after entering the park, about 500 feet past the entrance gate. Take the Roadside Trail up to the concession area and pick up a map, or print one out here: http://www.coopersrockstateforest.com/CRSF_Map.pdf. There is no fee to park and the forest is open year round, but be cautious from October through February because the forest is shared with hunters. Remember that stylish orange vest!

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Location

Coopers Rock State Forest

39.656662, -79.787134

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