Some days you just need to get in touch with your wild side. Escaping civilization to really experience nature is the answer to many of life’s troubles. The Greenbrier Valley is beautiful, with its rolling farmland and gorgeous mountains. The landscape allows plenty of opportunity for outdoor activities, especially in the secluded Greenbrier State Forest. Its towering trees and winding paths are more than enough to stir your sense of adventure.
Located in the southeastern corner of West Virginia near the Virginia border, the Greenbrier State Forest covers over 5,100 acres of mountainous terrain. The surrounding countryside provides spectacular views, most notably of Kate’s Mountain and all 3,280 feet of it.
The Greenbrier State Forest also boasts a disc golf course, shooting range, and hunting opportunities. If you are looking for a place to rest after your adventure, on-site cabins and campsites are available April through October. There are numerous hotels located in nearby Lewisburg as well as The Greenbrier, a four-star and AAA Five Diamond Award winning luxury resort in White Sulphur Springs.
What Makes It Great
The Greenbrier State Forest has eight trails that vary in length and difficulty. These trails cover several miles and link together, making them perfect for a quick workout. Though historically rated as Intermediate, some bikers have expressed frustration over the trails not so user-friendly nature. This began to change several years ago with a group of locals determined to improve the biking experience.
In 2013, Hill and Holler Bike Works, a downtown Lewisburg operation, received a $10,000 grant to begin construction of new mountain biking trails in the Greenbrier State Forest. This was a passion project of local bikers and it was not uncommon to have numerous volunteers sacrificing their weekends for months on end to assist with digging or clearing. The project leader even purchased earth moving equipment for ideal trail building. At project's close, nearly 30-40 locals had donated their time. In fact, funding is already in the works for further trail construction. This project was truly a work of love from the community.
Who is Going to Love It
Mountain biking trails at the Greenbrier State Forest are best for intermediate riders. One "Figure 8" loop is suitable for beginners, but even that still has its challenges. If you do need a warm-up or haven’t been mountain biking recently, try the nearby Greenbrier River Trail. This trail is 70 miles long and perfect for beginners. Plus, it’s a former railroad line so the path is considerably flat and wide. As for advanced riders, do not fret. You will enjoy the recently installed ramps and jumps on the main state forest trails.
Competitive racers are also finding themselves drawn to the Greenbrier State Forest. In 2015, the Hill and Holler Dirt Dash took place to benefit the local United Way. This is a mostly single-track trail race covering five miles of difficult paths throughout the forest. Bikers do experience six different trails throughout the course of the event.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
There is ample parking available at the Greenbrier State Forest so this should not be an issue. There are a few things to be aware of while riding, such as a one-way loop trail, but the area is well signed. The trails are also popular with hikers so you will need to be aware of possible pedestrians strolling around the next turn. The park service has also been very helpful and accommodating, even installing a bike wash next to the bathrooms.