One of the best parts of working in a bike shop is meeting people and sharing your local rides. Often, it’s just a map and pointers. Sometimes it’s letting them in on that poorly kept secret that we ride every day after work, all year long. Well, except in the winter—we ride at lunch.
If you’ve spent any time around Fayetteville or the New River Gorge, you’ve probably heard of the Arrowhead Trail System. It’s great. Fast, flowy, easy to navigate. The riding from the trailhead is pretty unique when it comes to West Virginia, and it’s one of the few trail systems specifically designed for mountain biking in a National Park.
So, where do we ride? Well, we start from right here in town. We’re pretty lucky that the New River Gorge National River serves as a corridor to access all sorts of great trails, including three state parks if you want to go big.
Town Park to Arrowhead Loop
One of our favorite loops is from Town Park trailhead to Arrowhead Trails and back. For the route out, use Park Drive to access the Park Loop Trail. Take it counterclockwise for a shorter link up to the Fayetteville Trail. This will get you out to Kaymoor Top, boasting a big view of the gorge from the old mountain haulage system that used to transport miners up and down the gorge.
From Kaymoor Top, continue east (upstream) on the gravel road and keep an eye out for Dalton, the first and bigger of the Arrowhead Trails. Take a right onto Dalton, setting you up for a counter clockwise route (general consensus is it has a better flow and more downhill). From here, you can decide how long you want to ride thanks to the stacked concentric trail loops. Dalton encompasses Adena, which encompasses Clovis.
When mapping your route in the Arrowhead system, make sure you end back up on Dalton to access the point-to-point LeCroy Trail at the end. When LeCroy reaches Kaymoor Road, take a left and go uphill. Once you start uphill, look on the right side of the road for a trail next to a posted sign—turn here. It’s a small connector that takes you over to the Long Point Trailhead and keeps you off the busy Gatewood Road. In the left corner of the parking lot opposite of the Long Point trail, you will see Timber Ridge. It’s one of the best downhills in the area—just beware of others coming uphill.
You have two options once you hit cross Wolf Creek Bridge. Left will take you along a small creek called House Branch and back into town via a driveway. Right takes you back to Town Park. Depending on the loop you choose at Arrowhead, plan on 10-20 miles of trail with a few short gravel sections.
In the heat of summer the trails will be super lush, but if you keep your eyes open on Dalton, there are some partial views of the gorge and Endless Wall through the trees. Winter time offers some great views of the gorge and the trails remain much drier than throughout the rainy spring and summer. Like the rest of Appalachia, it can rain at any time, so having rain gear and a spare layer for temperature drops is always a good idea. There are also no services or resupply on the trails, so be sure to have plenty of water and high-energy snacks.
For maps and more info on this loop and others, stop by New River Bikes on Court Street in Fayetteville and we will gladly set you up. If you catch us at closing time, we might just give you a local guided tour of the area.
Andy Forron is a local biking guru and owner of New River Bikes. Stop in, shoot the breeze, and invite him out on the trail.