Less about speed and more about technique, Little Beaver State Park’s mountain biking trails will challenge intermediate to advanced mountain bikers as you ride through dense forest alongside pristine streams, and over countless roots and rocks.
If there is one thing that you will remember from mountain biking at Little Beaver State Park, it's the water. This park is defined by bodies of water, and whether you are riding around the 18-acre lake or alongside one of the numerous streams, you will hear the pleasant gurgling of a flowing creek. Nearly all of the 18 trails here are singletrack or railroad grade, and the terrain varies considerably with many sudden uphills and no chance to gain momentum. While the routes here are geared toward more experienced riders, you can still find a couple that are good for beginners as well.
What Makes It Great
Riders at Little Beaver can enjoy pristine flowing streams and dense overhanging branches that graze the tips of your handlebars as you blaze across a rutted-out singletrack. For newer riders, check out the Lake Front Trail. It’s a relatively easy, 1.1-mile-long gravel route that takes you around the manmade lake. This trail is great for families and pets.
Intermediate riders can jet up the half-mile Black Bear Run trail, where rocks and roots are sparse, but the trail is narrow and wedged in between Beaver Creek and dense groves of rhododendron. You can also try the Railroad Grade trail at the opposite end of the park. It follows the bed of an old railroad line and links with the Laurel Creek Trail, which has tons of winding hills and switchbacks across dense forest and rocky outcroppings, and even across floating bridges that span over marshes. Combining the Railroad Grade Trail and Laurel Creek Trail will give you about 4.5 miles of riding.
Seasoned mountain bikers will find plenty of challenges here. The Nature Ridge Trail is 2.2. miles long, and starts off with a grueling climb up a forested hill with fallen trees and exposed roots. Once it levels out, you will weave in and out of several intense rock gardens for the rest of your ride. This is trail is perfect for technical riders. For another intense ride, check out the Billy Goat’s Gruff trail. It’s short at .6 mile, but don’t underestimate the challenge. It starts with a point-blank climb up a steep hill. Once you reach the summit, you will have to maneuver around massive roots and boulders through narrow singletrack on sharp ridgelines. When you finally reach the end, you’re rewarded with an exhilarating downhill plunge down a narrow path.
Who is Going to Love It
Intermediate to experienced mountain bikers will find the challenging trails at Little Beaver right up their alley. Nearly every trail has tons of exposed roots and rocks, ranging from tiny to hold-on-tight. Most of the trails are narrow and nestled in among thick forest and flowing creeks. While there are several short descents, Little Beaver is less about speed and more about technique. Beginner riders who don’t have experience with highly technical rides will face a steep learning curve, although the Lake Front Trail and Easy Street are accessible to any rider.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
One of the greatest advantages of Little Beaver is its easy accessibility. To reach the park, take Exit 129A off I-64 and turn left. The entrance will be just two miles ahead on your left. There is plenty of parking.