Spruce Knob - Mountain Biking

Made possible by

Photos

About

Summary

Spruce Knob is the highest point in the state of West Virginia. Located in the Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks Recreation Area, Spruce Knob offers a variety of recreational adventures and spectacular panoramic views.

Written by

Allison Pugh

Distance

10.0 miles

There is a variety of trail distances, from one-mile trails to up to ten-mile trails, which can be combined to create loops of varying distances.

Destination Distance From Downtown

143.7 miles

Difficulty

3 of 5 diamonds

Trails in the Spruce Knob area cover a variety of terrain, from steep peaks to grassy meadows. While some trails may be suited for beginners, others are more suited for experts.

Time To Complete

1 days

The amount of time spent biking at Spruce Knob depends on the distance you want to cover. There is a variety of trail distances, from one-mile trails to up to ten-mile trails. On average, though, you should be able to take in what Spruce Knob has to offer in a day's adventure--although you can certainly come back for more.

Seasonality

Spring, Summer, and Fall

The best seasons to experience Spruce Knob are late spring, summer, and early fall. Because of the high elevation, the area is subject to high-winds and cold temperatures, which make it relatively inaccessible in late fall and winter months. Snowfall can be expected anytime from October to April.

Dog Friendly

On Leash Only

Fees Permits

No

Land Website

Spruce Knob

Review

Intro

At 4,863 feet, Spruce Knob is the highest peak in West Virginia found in the Allegheny Mountains. Spruce Knob is defined by its dense spruce forests, similar to those found in northern New England and Canada. The summit is accessible via paved Forest Service road and trails. A stone lookout tower stands at the top of the summit amid a mixture of meadows, boulder fields, and trees. Spruce Knob has grand views of the Germany Valley, and Allegheny Plateau, and North Fork Mountain. The area experiences high winds year-round, which give the red spruce trees their signature windswept appearance as the constant exposure to strong winds deforms the spruce branches.

What Makes It Great

Spruce Knob has an awesome array of terrains and landscapes, including grassy openings and pastures such as those on Jody Sods and along Big Run to the rugged and windy alpine peak of Spruce Knob. Over fifty miles of trails traverse the area, inviting you to experience the various wonders Spruce Knob has to offer. Trails are maintained and marked with blue blazes. Several trails can be combined to create loops. The longest trail is the 10-mile Allegheny Mountain Trail, which the shortest trail at just a mile long is the Bear Hunter Trail. There are a handful loop trails, such as the Gatewood Trail, a 2-mile loop that features several short steep sections.

While not the preferred recreational option, mountain biking has become more popular in the area in recent years, perhaps due to the difficult nature of the combination of the Knob’s high-winds and sometimes steep trails. But that’s also what makes biking at Spruce Knob great—it is a unique experience to be found on the East Coast. There’s not much that is more satisfying than reaching the mountain’s summit to see the spectacular view of the Germany Valley after a long and hard ride. It’s a thrilling payoff to say the least.

Who is Going to Love It

If you’re looking for a challenge, you’re going to love biking Spruce Knob. While large portions of the area are easily maneuvered, several steep sloping sections provide just the right amount of challenge for bikers of all experience levels. The summit provides the ultimate payoff with its panoramic views of the Germany Valley.

Because the area offers a wide variety of recreational opportunities, it’s a perfect getaway destination for families and friends to immerse themselves in nature. Photographers are sure to love the area’s many spectacular features and unique topography and flora. So whether you’re looking for a scenic mountain biking experience or seeking to flex your muscles on a variety of terrain, Spruce Knob is waiting for you.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

Parking is available in several areas. Paved access is from U.S. Route 33/West Virginia Route 28 about two miles south of Riverton. Briery Gap Road (County Route 33/4), Forest Road 112 and Forest Road 104 have been reconstructed and paved to provide a hard-surfaced road to the summit. The Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area follows a “Leave No Trace” mentality.

Similar Local Mountain Biking Spots

See all

More West Virginia Activities

View West Virginia

More Spruce Knob Activities

West Virginia Recommendations

Local West Virginia Stories

Location

Spruce Knob

38.0, -79.0

Get Directions