Mountain Biking in Slatyfork, WV

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About

Summary

Slatyfork, WV is an adventure mountain biking destination worthy of exploration.

Written by

Joe DeGaetano

Distance

25.0 miles

There are dozens of options for rides in the region ranging from 5 miles to nearly 100 miles.

Destination Distance From Downtown

80.3 miles

Difficulty

4 of 5 diamonds

Rocks, roots, primitive trails, steep climbs, and steep descents make this a fairly technical riding area.

Time To Complete

8 hours

There are dozens of options for rides in the region. The shortest loops or point to points might take an hour whereas other loops and linkups could take the better park of the day.

Seasonality

Spring, Summer, and Fall

Dog Friendly

On Leash Only

Fees Permits

No

Review

Intro

Slatyfork, WV is a small community located at the base of Snowshoe Mountain resort. What most folks don’t know is that it is also home to the most extensive mountain bike trail system in the state. Using the Elk River Touring Center or Tea Creek Campground as a launching spot, one can access over 60 miles of singletrack and nearly the same amount of forest roads allowing a mountain biker to create many different loops and link ups.  One can expect to find flowy singletrack, heinous rock gardens, and gnarly descents in the region.

What Makes It Great

There’s a lot to rave about the trails surrounding Slatyfork, but one thing that is most important to mention is that this is pure mountain biking. You won’t find groomed trails out here, nor will you see any man-made features to speak of, besides the rare trail marker. What you will find is mountain terrain ripe with fern covered rocks and roots, small mountain creeks, and hardwood forests that are only interrupted by the rustic trails that allow passage through this rugged landscape. But that is exactly what is beautiful about this place. Fill up your camelback with water and snacks for an entire day’s mission, grab your map, and go explore.

Classic trails such as the Tea Creek Mountain Trail and Propps Ridge shouldn’t be missed. The half mile-long rock garden on the top of Tea Creek Mountain Trail is a rite of passage for mountain bikers. Follow that up with its 4 mile descent over rocks and roots and you’re as a giddy as kid leaving for college. Propps Ridge follows an old railroad bench and is the most pedal-friendly downhill I’ve ever ridden. You’ll switch between coasting at mach speed to pedaling a few strokes to roll up and over a roller to coasting at mach speed again. This is Mother Nature’s version of a flow trail providing dozens of options to pump, carve, and jump your way down the trail.

Who is Going to Love It

Beginner through advanced mountain bikers will have fun on the trails around Slatyfork. The more experienced will venture farther and move faster through the technical terrain where the rookie might just tackle one trail. Either way, this is a place for those who value solitude and adventure. It’s common to not see a single person the entire day on the trails. On the other hand, this is a great place to get a group of friends together for a long weekend of camping and mountain bike exploration.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

Access points to the Slatyfork trails include the Elk River Touring Center, Tea Creek Campground, and the Tea Creek Trail pull off on the Scenic Highway. It is also feasible to park along some of the forest roads to shuttle some of the more choice downhills in the region.

Tea Creek Campgound and Elk River Touring Center are both great places to camp. Food and amenities can be found in the local towns of Slatyfork and Marlington.

Location

Slatyfork, WV

38.416167, -80.127122

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