“A wild ride along the ridge finishing with a fast, narrow descent.”
— Jack Hoblitzell
Wildcat Ridge begins at the West Boundary Ridge Rd. The entrance to the trail is marked and is on the right. The first mile or so is rolling, with short ups and downs as it runs to the northeast. About .8 of a mile in, Beech Glen
Trail intersects from the left. This is a one-way uphill trail for bikes, so (at least technically) should not be descended. However, Beech Glen
is a great singletrack climb and it is a good way to access Wildcat Ridge from Polly Hollow
. Bear right to continue on Wildcat Ridge.
Another few tenths of a mile past Beech Glen
, Polly Trail bears off to the left. I avoid Polly, finding it not particularly rideable, as you have to negotiate a cliff line and do some scrambling over boulders. Polly Trail is a great trail to hike, though. The intersection with Polly Trail is marked. On the bike, continue to bear right to stay on Wildcat Ridge.
Soon, the trail will nose downward. The descent is relatively smooth, but it is narrow and benched into the side of the hill, so the there is always a steep drop on one side of the trail. There are 5 or 6 very sharp switchbacks that can be difficult to negotiate, so keep an eye out for these, as especially in the fall, it can be easy in spots to lose the trail.
The trail ends in Dunlap Hollow. Turn right and ride through Dunlap Hollow and the Kanawha State Forest campground to go back to the trails at the rear of the forest. Turn left and follow Dunlap Hollow back out to the main, paved forest road.