“Backcountry riding from the highest reaches of West Virginia.”
— Leslie Kehmeier
Loop is a great ride for views and fun technical challenges. It's also a good excuse to get to the highest point in West Virginia.
The route is classic West Virginia riding with rocks and roots to keep you engaged and pedaling constantly.
Need to Know
Loop starts at the Spruce Knob Overlook on Huckleberry
and finishes with a climb up a road. Alternatively, you can climb the road first by parking at the end of Lumberjack
Information about Spruce Knob, Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area and Monongahela National Forest can be found at the Seneca Rocks Discovery Center.
Start the Huckleberry
Loop on top of Spruce Mountain. Ramble down a short set of stairs to the east of the main parking area. Be prepared for rocky pedaling right off the bat. Even though the trail trends downhill, you'll find yourself turning the cranks for most of the route.
The beginning stages of the trail are in fairly dense hardwood and scrubs followed by dark pine groves with little understory. Every so often the trail breaks out into open areas with a few trees and grassy meadows.
The trail remains technical throughout and requires constant attention to time your pedal strokes and shift your weight over various rocks and root combinations.
About two-thirds into the route you'll encounter a series of directional signs for Huckleberry
Trail. Follow these first through a big pine grove and then along an old road bed before jumping back into the forest. The trail will turn to the north eventually and then drop down the ridge to an intersection.
Take a left at the junction to run Lumberjack
back to the west, a trail that parallels Huckleberry
below the ridge on Spruce Mountain. The trail is relatively flat and wet through with several rocky water crossings. Although there are more smooth sections than Huckleberry
, this section of the ride is still demanding.
Take another left when Lumberjack
exits to the road. Climb gradually to the turn off for Spruce Knob overlook and the trailhead. The road is kind of a slog but has 360 degree views towards the top.
History & Background
Established in 1965, the Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area was the first NRA to be designated in the USDA Forest Service.