Slatyfork, WV, is a small community at the base of Snowshoe Mountain Resort. What most folks don’t know is that it is also home to one of the most extensive mountain bike trail systems in the state. Using the Elk River Touring Center or Tea Creek Campground as a launching spot, you can get to more than 60 miles of singletrack and nearly the same amount of forest roads. The riding is great, and you can find flowy singletrack, challenging rock gardens, and gnarly descents all along the way.
What Makes It Great
There’s a lot to rave about on the trails surrounding Slatyfork, but the most important point to mention is that this is pure mountain biking. You won’t find groomed trails out here, nor will you see any manmade features to speak of, excluding 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. Fill up your hydration pack with water and snacks for an entire day’s mission, grab your map, and go explore.
Don’t miss the classic trails like the 5-mile Tea Creek Mountain Trail and the 9-mile Props Run. The .5-mile rock garden on the top of Tea Creek Mountain Trail is a rite of passage for mountain bikers. Props Run is the most pedal-friendly downhill in the area because of its thrilling 4-mile downhill descent over rocks and roots. You’ll switch between coasting at mach speed to pedaling a few strokes in order to roll up and over a roller to coasting at mach speed again. This is Mother Nature’s version of a flow trail, with dozens of options to pump, carve, and jump your way down.
Who is Going to Love It
Advanced mountain bikers will have the most fun on the trails around Slatyfork, although a beginner could choose one of the trails as a project. Either way, this is a place for riders 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 Highland National Scenic Highway. You can also park along some of the forest roads and shuttle some of the more choice downhills in the region.
Tea Creek Campground and Elk River Touring Center are both great places to camp. You can stock up on good and amenities in the local towns of Slatyfork and Marlinton.